A Pilgrimage to Rivesaltes

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

Here is a link to our surprisingly spiritual experiences seeking out and visiting Rivesaltes, the detention camp where my teacher Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi was imprisoned in France. Also described is the ritual we did at Reb Zalman's behest for the thousands of young Spanish freedom fighters murdered at the Nazi concentration camp Mauthausen. Don't hesitate to be in touch with your own experiences and reflections for inclusion in our newsletter (sign up at link at top of page),

Added Book Review Section

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

Under the Teachings tab Book Reviews by Rabbi Goldie Milgram are now being posted. The following reviews are available, these first appear in the Philadelphia Jewish Voice:

The Rabbi Rami Guides by Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Looking for Me…in This Great Big Family by Betsy R. Rosenthal
Converso: A Historical Novel by Mario X. Martinez (brief video interview with author included)

Jewish precedent for communicating with nature

Posted by Rabbi Shohama Wiener |

In this week's Torah reading G*d tells Moses to speak to the rock that it bring forth water. Instead he strikes the rock and loses his chance to enter the Promised Land. At first glance it may seem unrealistic to speak to a rock, but our ancestors believed that nature responded to our words and prayers. 

Here in Portland OR, some of the amazingness to share

Posted by Rabbi Goldie Milgram |

First most amazing thing was debuting the form of farbrengen I will be teaching at NewCaje this August. The amazing Maggidah Cassandra Morris here in Portland, OR, organized a Fathers' Day night gathering for this event, I figured a handful of folks would come. 

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.

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.