Appreciation the best birthday gift ever!

Posted by Rabbi Shohama Wiener |

After glorious celebrations with family, friends, colleagues, students, and synagogue, my real 70th birthday came and went in low key fashion. However, I am left with the knowing that I've been sharing for the last few decades-- the best gift we can give anyone is words or symbols of appreciation. These add life to our years and years to our life. L'chaim!

Sic Transit Venus, Jewishing in the Afterglow: Judaism and Astrology

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |
Image: Papermill on the estate of David Rittenhouse as the Venus transit of 2012 began. Photo credit: Barry Bub

We commemorated the planet Venus transit yesterday with a walk near our home at the near-by historic David Rittenhouse Estate. Rittenhouse,observed this rare transit in 1768, and then calculated the distance from Earth to the Sun.During our walk, my Hubbatzin * Barry asked me if Judaism has much to say about the sun and planets, as many ancient traditions do. I told since you know the phrase "mazel tov," you know the beginning of the answer….

That Messianic Feeling: When Youth Grasp the Possibilities of Respectful Pluralism

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

Out of 2200 attendees at the Tikkun Leil Shavuot at the JCC on the Upper West Side, several encounters especially remain vibrant in my mind. There are those where e-mail correspondents become known panim-el-panim, face-top-face. Wonderful to meet each of you in person! May our lives continue to intersect in Torah study and mitzvah-centered living.

When was the first Tikkun Leyl Shavuot?

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

Did you know that receiving Torah  through the altered state of consciousness known as sleep deprivation is a Shavuot spiritual practice? Known as a Tikkun Leil Shavuot, FREE Jewish learning overnights are occurring worldwide this Saturday night. A tikkun occurs when one learns with a lev tahor, a pure heart and holy, implementable, new awareness emerges. A tikkun is also implementation of justice and healing based upon awareness. The origins of Tikkun Leyl Shavuot are ascribed in the

Rabbi Shohama Wiener: Creator of Spiritual Connections

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

Sometimes innovative people are also natural connectors. My colleague here at Reclaiming Judaism, Rabbi Shohama Wiener is such a one. Her most amazing talent is engaging with each person in such an uplifting way that we experience spirituality in her very presence. And when Shohama lights up, you know something holy is going to happen.

Mitzvah-Centered Workshops Big Success at LimmudPhilly

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

At LimmudPhilly I was delighted to offer several sessions. Just want to mention one in particular, a workshop on how to relate to the homeless people we encounter on any random day. We began with each person sharing a memory of such an encounter and what it was like for them. The candor and depth of the participants got us off to a great start as we deepened in the relevant mitzvot together - tamhui, kvod ha-briut and more. I taught a type of listening that validates a person who is down and out even if we can't totally transform their life and circumstances.

Miriam Demoted, Aaron Promoted: Inspiring How Times Can Actually Change

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

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.

Video of Psalm 150 the Way I Have Yearned to Hear

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

The video below is a delightful discovery. Rabbi Rosalind Glazer has recorded Rabbi Goldie Milgram's interpretive lyrics for Psalm 150 melody by Leonard Cohen. Rabbi Glazer's voice is exquisite! Lyrics appear below the video.                                               

Teaching in Song for Passover 2012

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

Many seder supplements are single issue pieces. At our seder, we hope to connect participants to the key issues of our times in brief, yet meaningful ways. Our seder outline and songsheet is downloadable for free. If you've been following these postings, here's the one song you haven't seen yet, a song that communicates a mystical meaning of the afikomen.

Can a Child Be Wicked?

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

The seder liturgy of the Four Sons has always disturbed me for reasons more than gender bias, also because of the dismissive labeling and assumptions about children. So, we teamed up to create this new version which recasts the sons through a contemporary understanding of children's behavior. The piece is titled Four Special Children. Blessings for a sweet and meaningful Passover!