This week while trying to create a few more feet of space in my study, my ever-so-helpful Hubbatzin Barry and I discovered that In 1969 I gave a session as a USYer at a National Conference titled "Did God, Moses or Aaron Hit Miriam with a Stained Glass Ceiling?" That theme continues as major in my life, as in another both we note it re-appears in my journal in regard to a battle with Dr. Bardein over his exclusion of women from leading services at was then titled the Bardein Institute. (He relented at the end of my stay there.) Then again at an ATID convention. The next decade the title of my efforts into a local BJE seminar I gave titled: "Proposed a Different Ending to Streisand's Yentel Movie." And years later, while serving as founding chair of the Jewish Women's Studies Project at rabbinical school, one of my first research paper drafts begins: "Extra! Extra! - Read All About It: Miriam Demoted: Aaron Promoted, Outraged Jewish Men & Women Protest - Extra! Extra!" And in 1991, my article demonstrating was tzara'at is not leprosy was published as "'Sarrat' Leprosy (Leviticus 13): A Review of the Literature." Korot 9 (1991) and what a thrill to have that first scholarly work accepted by a jury of professional peers. Curious? Come to my session Friday night at LimmudPhilly.
I count about an equal number of male and female teachers/clergy presenting at this LImmudPhilly. How awesome is the hard won evolution in Judaism and gender, with miles to go especially in Israel (we will get there, I fear not!) I'll also be on stage giving a professional storytelling from our new book at Reclaiming Judaism Press: Mitzvah Stories Seeds for Inspiration and Learning. And, in another session, combining mussar and mitzvot through an experiential workshop utilizing our professionally published decks of Mitzvah Cards from here at Reclaiming Judaism Press.
Back here in my study we have found some 40 years of accrued Jewish studies materials, and perhaps thousands of books that extend down the hall, under beds, into the attic...How had I managed to teach for four months in Florida without all of these riches immediately at hand? My sweet Hubbatzin Barry, a master organizer, is helping to sift. Sift, shift and ship is happening quickly, since the Archives of American Jewish History collect my files, ritual garb and work products as I'm ready to let go of them over the years. Stuff, mountains of stuff! We sent like 20 boxes to the Archive last year, seems almost impossible.
The answer is (drum roll please) over forty years of study and preparation, a suitcases of materials brought down with us to Florida, and, the Internet. One key word search yields more at our fingertips than hours of digging through volumes. Well, all is not lost, book contents come up too on Internet searches, even those I, too, have written. Thank you Jewish Lights Publishing for doing so with Reclaiming Judaism as a Spiritual Practice, Meaning & Mitzvah, and Living Jewish Life Cycle and putting them out on Kindle for easy downloading! By Hanukkah our Reclaiming Judaism Press Books will also be on Kindle.
Well it's time to get back to work on sift, shift and ship, as well as preparing sessions in order to joyfully see you this weekend at LimmudPhilly!