Criminals. Troublemakers. Attention seekers. These are just a few of the names that Women of the Wall have been called. I've met these women, I've prayed with them.
If we are not making mistakes, we are not pushing ourselves hard enough. So, my suggestion for all of us between now and 2014 is to go out and make mistakes! And each time we mess up, let's consider what we can do differently next time.
This year, my son learned more than he ever has about what it means to seek forgiveness after he does something wrong.
This year I forgave myself for not being as talented as Jonathan Franzen, as thin as Jennifer Aniston, or as driven as Hillary Clinton. I forgave myself for not making it to Broadway, and even more for not having the nerve to try or the perseverance to keep on trying.
Not only was my walk up to the front of the temple painful and scary, but my time standing on the bimah was even more difficult. As I read the passages, all I could think about were my shoes. I was in pain and hoped nobody could tell.
Michele Bachmann recently visited a Chicago synagogue on the eve of Yom Kippur. Her unwanted presence there drove many attendees to leave, and to later donate to her opponent in the Congressional race in Minnesota. Here are a few things she said that pissed them off:
As I obsessed over how to forgive, I spent hours thinking about how much I had been wronged. It wasn't helping me move forward at all.
If Sukkot commemorates the wandering in the desert, why do we celebrate it now?
Those rabbis sure didn't know a lot about marital relations when they asked us to build something in the dark after starving all day.
The Jewish High Holidays are filled with the potential to amplify life lessons. It is upon us to discover how they are relevant to our individual lives.
How do you explain the High Holidays to kids without scaring the living daylights out of them? Just the images alone send me into black hibernation. No light, no consciousness. Let God add and erase names in the Book of Life without my awareness.
Instinctively the human being is "self oriented" and looks out for self pleasure and gain. However, a person has the choice to go beyond self and be "other oriented," when we do so we feel the sensitivities and needs of others.
I don't often get to say that I feel like Moses, but I did at one point in the past year. There was a discovery made this summer of epic proportions, one that is going to change, we are told, the face of physics and perhaps our entire understanding of the universe.
It's quite presumptuous for a Christian to write about an Israeli political issue in the context of a Jewish holiday, but I do so as someone who has been blessed immeasurably by Jewish thinkers and public figures.
We can only get richer, in human terms, if we integrate many more sides of history than we presently are wont to do.
In "Breaking Bad," every episode is a day of atonement, if not for each character as it often is, it is for me. I rarely walk away from watching an episode feeling ebullient.