“Suffering” in Rubber Gloves

I have pink rubber gloves on as I scrub a pan. The chugging of the dishwasher and the rumbling of the washing machine are a duet in the background. My son, sick with the flu for the 6th day, sleeps in the next room.

It is Monday after spring break, and we just returned home from a family trip to the east coast. My son got sick there, but we had to fly with him anyway in spite of our efforts to switch flights. Now he’s missing his first day back at school, and I’m home with him. I have a giant pile of career-related things that have to get done but aren’t getting done (including writing an over-due blog… what should I write about?), and because of a miscommunication, my housekeeper is not coming. So, in spite of sick child (luckily he is sleeping), in spite of work, I am scrubbing surfaces and sanitizing door handles and running laundry and changing sheets.

In my head there are sounds that remind me of what Yosemite Sam sounds like when he’s really, really frustrated with Bugs Bunny.

But wait! I think this may be a spiritual moment… a spiritual opportunity. I just know it is.  Let’s check in with two of my favorite Rabbinic authors and see what they have to say.

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (I know, I quote him a lot) talks about tension in his book Jewish with Feeling. He wrote, “If there is a tension between what we know in our minds and what we feel in our hearts, then let’s stay with that tension.” He also wrote, “… allow the tension of contradiction without seeking to reduce it.”  Rabbi Alan Lew (who was a deep student of Zen Buddhism and later became a Conservative Rabbi) in his book Be Still and Get Going said, “The amelioration of suffering in not the central imperative of Judaism. The central imperative of Judaism, I believe, is to recognize and manifest the sacred in everything we do and encounter in the world. …I think we can safely assume that if we realized the sacred in the moment, we would be rather less inclined to wish that we were in some other moment.”

Well now!  Some may think living with one’s tension or frustration or suffering is only a very Buddhist thing to do, but apparently it is actually a very Jewish thing to do too.

So, while I’m certainly not experiencing “suffering” today, I am having a woe-is-me moment after so many days of being the nurse, wanting to get back to work, and just wishing someone else was here to do the stupid laundry and disinfect the place (as my friend would say, “first world problems”). But maybe this is a moment for me not to think about where I wish I was or what I wish I was doing, but simply own this task at this time in this place as the right thing for right now.   In fact, this is what I am choosing to do.

How often do we choose something but grumble about it along the way? I had a teacher who used to say to me, “Diane, are you willing or unwilling? If you’re willing, do it, and do it well. If you’re not, don’t do it and stop talking about it.”  I use that line of thinking with my students all the time. 🙂  In this situation, I am actually very willing in spite of the pull to be somewhere else. So why am I grumbling? I need to stop that Yosemite Sam voice in my head and instead find peace in the pan I am scrubbing, peace in the sheets I am changing, peace in the sparkle of the wiped down faucet.

So, let’s try this again. I am going to listen to Rabbi Lew and bring the sacred into everything I encounter. There is something glorious about watching your child sleep, knowing you are there for him. There is something holy about taking it upon yourself to make sure your home is clean. There is comfort in hugging those toasty towels from the dryer. And I know everyone will feel gratitude tonight when settling down into fresh sheets at bedtime.

I sound like a Buddhist monk going about my daily chores, but truly, this is the being-in-the-moment of parenthood. And doing this, I am expressing my Jewishness as described by Rabbi Lew. Tomorrow I can express my Jewishness by being a Rabbi and Cantor. Today, being a mindful Jewish mother will do.

Want a seder but don’t want to cook?? Cool Shul will be having a catered Community Seder for the second night of Passover. Please join us and invite your family and friends.  All ages welcome.  Click here for information: http://coolshul.brownpapertickets.com

Rabbi on a Mountain Top?

IMG_2499

Judaism has been described as a “householder religion.”  What does that mean?  It means that although we have synagogues as centers, a great deal of Jewish expression takes place in the home.  Think about it.  What gives Judaism its flavor and makes it as much a cultural expression as a religious one?  It’s all of the traditions that live and breathe within the family walls.  From Shabbat candles on the dinner table to Chanukah candles in the chanukiah, from the ketubah hanging on the wall to the mezuzah hanging at a gentle angle on the door frame, from the braided challah on Friday night to the crunchy matzah on the seder plate, much of what we all do Jewishly has nothing to do with Temples or services or Rabbis.  They have to do with family.

In the book the Jew and the Lotus, it is suggested that this “householder” status is why Judaism has survived so many trials and tribulations.  No matter what was going on “out there,” whether families were being taken from their homes, or synagogues were destroyed, or wars were being fought… there was always Judaism taking place “in here.”  If there was a morsel of bread, there was a blessing.

Thinking of Judaism this way renews my desire to hold it close.  Even if we are not traditionally observant, every day holds opportunities to live more beautifully, more peacefully, more sumptuously, and Judaism in the home can be, if we allow it to be, the medium through which we reach these global goals.  As I told my students: It’s not that we are saying that only Jews are supposed to live this way, but for us, Judaism in how we remember to live this way.  So, if we choose a blessing to remind us to be thankful, then we we just used Judaism for the universal goal of gratitude.  If we choose candles to remind us to bring our personal sparks into the world, then we just used Judaism for the universal goal of contributing to the greater good.  If we eat matzah to remember to fight for those who are enslaved, then we used Judaism for the universal goal of working toward freeing those who are captive.  Now, I know we can be grateful, be global contributors, and be freedom fighters without Judaism, but keeping this householder religion near and dear makes it a little easier not to forget.

There is a challenge, though, that comes with this householder nature, especially for those of us who are teachers of this evolving tradition.  Rabbis don’t sit upon mountain tops contemplating the universe, nor do we live in seclusion, dedicating ourselves to the pursuits of knowledge and understanding.  We are men and women who are often married, often with children, paying bills, getting child care, doing the dishes, throwing in the laundry, and cursing when we realize the car won’t start.  We are “householder” Rabbis… not separate from our communities, but right in the middle of the storm beside them.

Part of me wishes we could go sit on a mountain top and contemplate God instead of running to the grocery store.  We’d get a step closer to spiritual mastery for sure.  But wouldn’t we lose our connection to the worries of our communities?  I’m glad that when one of our students got sick in class and threw up, I (as a parent) barely flinched at needing to clean it up (in fact, my co-teacher said Cool Shul’s slogan should be: Cool Shul… Where You’re Rabbi Will Clean Up Your Puke).  I’m glad that when I encounter families with issues with spouses or children, I understand both the pain and euphoria of those family relationships.  And you know what?  I may be a Rabbi, but I, too, find that days can pass, and in the flurry of busy-ness, I forget to plug into my householder religion.  So If you are struggling with finding time for spiritual expression, welcome to the club.  Me too.  I’m no different.  I’m the same trench as you are.

So, I’m starting to think this householder-religion-spiritual-leader thing may actually be more of an opportunity than an obstacle.  If Rabbis were to be above worldly struggles, dedicated completely to spiritual pursuits without the day-to-day complexities, then wouldn’t we be asking too much of all of you if we ask you to try to elevate to such a spiritual level while holding on to those day to day complexities?   Like home and job and traffic and finances and family?  But if Rabbis have to struggle right next to you, then maybe we can use our training and understanding to help discover with you the biggest spiritual secrets.  Such as how to live, love, and act more like the holiest versions of ourselves while… getting two cranky, tired kids washed, dressed, brushed, fed and out the door for school on a Monday morning after winter break.  When we have THAT answer, THEN we will have spiritual mastery!!!   🙂

I look forward to being in the trenches with you.

Please join Cool Shul for a Purim Shabbat celebration and pot-luck dinner this Friday, March 18 at One Roof in Venice, CA.

Click here for the evite: http://evite.me/y4v2D3qJb7

Click here for the sign-up for Friday for supplies needed for the homeless: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0945afad2fa13-blessing

Am I a “Member of the Tribe”?

Bob Dylan is just like Judaism.

Yes, I know Bob Dylan is Jewish, but that’s not what I mean.  Appreciating Bob Dylan is kind of like appreciating Judaism.

Let me explain.

Looking for something different to listen to this morning, I stumbled upon a playlist of Bob Dylan covers.  Now, I’m not one who often listens to Bob Dylan, but I certainly love many of his songs. So, I clicked on the playlist figuring it would be a wonderful education in all of the music I probably know and love but have no idea were written by him.  I heard Adele, Rod Stewart, Miley Cyrus, Duran Duran, Natalie Cole, Sting, Maroon 5, U2, Billy Joel, Kesha, Dionne Warwick and Wyclef Jan.  Like any of of those artists?  No?  Well, how about Rage Against the Machine, Patti Smith, Johnny Cash or Patti LaBelle?  The list of artists who have sung a Bob Dylan song goes on and on and on.  We can appreciate him through the lens of hip-hop, grunge, R&B, pop, and country.  The result?  People with different tastes with different opinions can all have a favorite song by the one and only, Bob Dylan.

So Bob Dylan is just like Judaism. One can experience, appreciate, even adore Bob Dylan in a myriad of ways, and one can experience, appreciate, even adore Judaism in a myriad of ways too.   We can enter through doors framed in Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Renewal, Humanist, Post-Denominational, Ashkenazic, Sephardic, contemplative, ecstatic, traditional, even now Jewish Universalist flavors, all heading toward the same Jewish sanctuary. In a way, each movement and tradition is “covering” one artist… Judaism.

Fortunately for Bob Dylan, not too many people get into fist-fights or call each other names over who likes Bob Dylan more or who’s cover of “Forever Young” is the best.  Unfortunately for the Jewish people, we can’t say the same.  We do get into constant battles over who is more Jewish or who’s version of Judaism is more legitimate.  Some Orthodox point at the modern, progressive movements and claim they are not even Jewish.  Some progressives point at the Orthodox and claim they are backward or crazy.

Instruments on Shabbat?  — Never!

Not egalitarian?  — Forget it!

Altered liturgy?  — Are you nuts?!

A Jewish Universalist?  — No such thing!

Jews of Ethiopia or Uganda or India?  — Are they really Jewish?”

This is where I think some Jews have lost their ways and why I have always struggled with the term, “Member of The Tribe.”  Once there is a fence that keeps members “in” or “out” we have a problem.  Who is the Head Rabbi of this Tribe?  Who is it that decides if what I am and what I do is Jewish enough? Who decides with whom I can pray and with whom I cannot?  Who decides if a conversion is legitimate or not?  Who gets to say that a child raised Jewish without a Jewish mother isn’t Jewish?  And what if I come from a community that doesn’t quite fit into the traditional Judaism of any of those movements?  Is my community “in the tribe” or “out”?

The website and non-profit Bechol Lashon (In Every Tongue) is an amazing resource for understanding diversity within Judaism.  According to their site, a 2002 study showed that there were approximately 435,000 Jews living in the U.S. who identified as non-white. That was 7.3% of the Jewish population.  And yes, some of those people are Jewish because of conversion or adoption or an interfaith/interracial marriage, but there are also many whose families have been Jewish for as long as anyone can remember.  Their communities may or may not look and feel like typical American congregations, but they live as Jewishly as anyone else, and boy do they have amazing stories to tell about what it is like to not only be a person of color, but a Jewish person of color in American society.

Please celebrate diversity in Judaism as well as Black History Month by joining Cool Shul for Shabbat this Friday, February 19, for an amazing evening with Rabbi and Professor Walter Isaac.  He will be joining us via Skype to enlighten us about the history of African American Jews and the Black Israelite community.  I guarantee we are going to learn a few things, consider some things we’ve never considered before, and hear some wonderful stories!

Click here for the evite.   http://evite.me/f6FMDjg2Xq

jmn_poster

New Year’s Resolution? Here I am!

Hineni

Hineni.  Here I am.

When God called to Abraham, Abraham answered, Hineni… Here I am.

When God called to Jacob, Jacob answered, Hineni… Here I am.

And when God called to Moses, Moses answered, Hineni… Here I am.

Well, at least that’s how the story goes…

They say that one doesn’t just decide to be clergy, but one is called to be clergy. Well, gosh, in just a few weeks, I will be traveling to Florida for my own Rabbinic ordination.  I’m already a Cantor, so I guess I’m already clergy (don’t tell my husband; he always says, “Who wants to go to bed at night next to clergy??!!”), but this Rabbi thing is a whole other level.   To be a true spiritual leader means watching my own ego and never getting too impressed with myself.  It means listening to the needs of the people who invite me into their lives rather than placing my needs upon them.  It means being there for beautiful events such as weddings and b’nei-mitzvah and baby namings, but it also means being there when there is fear, tragedy, sadness, illness, and death.  It means being available for guidance when asked, and it also means being wise enough to step away when space is needed.  This clergy thing is no easy task.  But I don’t really feel like I was “called”.  I never heard the voice of God like those guys mentioned above.  I never saw a holy light or a burning bush or heard rolling thunder speak my name, or even felt a tap on the shoulder.  I just kind of kept putting one foot in front of the other and somehow found myself here.

I guess there were moments in my journey that I could interpret as the Universe guiding me along a particular path, but I’m also open to the idea that I saw meaning in those instances because this was the path I desired deep down.  I’ll never know which it was, and I don’t think it really matters.  I think all any of us can to do is keep our eyes and ears open for those moments that are either themselves imbued with meaning or that we infuse with meaning, reflecting our own hearts’ desires to ourselves.  It is possible that Abraham, Jacob and Moses, didn’t hear a literal voice but heard an internal “knowing”.  It’s possible they were calling themselves.  Maybe that is all we must ask of ourselves too.

It’s interesting that the Torah portion Shemot (the one in which God calls to Moses and Moses answers with Hineni) will be read during the Shabbat after New Year’s day this year.  While Moses is being “called”, here we all are, making our usual New Year’s resolutions… to get back into shape, to spend more time with family, to make more money, to eat healthier, to finally lose that 15 pounds.  But maybe the lesson we can grab from this New Year’s Torah portion is that we can forget all that stuff. Maybe we don’t have to “observe” the New Year with promises that we probably won’t keep and will feel guilty when we don’t.  Maybe we can just say to the world, “Hineni!  Here I am!  Whatever this life calls upon me to do this year, I won’t hide!  I’m right here, and I’ll give it my best shot!”   With this, we prepare ourselves to be flexible, to face challenges, to move like water as we encounter the unknown twists and turns that lie ahead in 2016.  If we are able to achieve this, we may find ourselves doing something very, very difficult… living in the moment.

When I return from Florida, my Kehillah Sababah, my “Cool Community” will celebrate with me and for the first time, call me “Rabbi.”  To my Cool Shul readers and community… Hineni.  Here I am.  Thank you for spending a little time with me.  I don’t know where the “call” to learn and grow and share with you came from, but I am grateful for the call, and I am going to do my best to be beside you as you navigate your lives.  Thank you for being with me as I navigate mine.

May 2016 be a year in which we all listen to the internal and external voices that guide us and remind us of our “callings”.  And may we be like water, ready to move with the tides.

Cantor (Soon to be Rantor) Diane.

And now, a bit more…

  • With just a couple days left for you to squeeze in your last donations of 2015, please consider donating to Cool Shul.   A dream needs dreamers, and we hope you will dream with us.  To make a tax-deductible donation please click here.
  • We are going to be starting a book club (for adults) that will meet once a month from January through June.  We will be reading books about the meeting of a group of Jewish leaders with the Dalai Lama, learning about meditation from a Zen Conservative Rabbi, exploring the simplicities of Jewish life with the grandfather of the Renewal Movement, diving into an ironically funny memoir of being raised Orthodox, sinking our teeth into some Chasidic tales, and preparing ourselves for the coming back around of the Holy Days.  If you would like more information or to sign up, click here.
  • Please save the date for Shabbat evening, January 22.  We will have a unique Shabbat experience with some special guests and will celebrate my Rabbinic ordination.

Happy New Year!!!!

The answers are blowing in the wind

This Torah commentary is dedicated to those in San Bernardino who need to be strong in the face of yet another senseless storm.

There is a species of tree that exists in which each tree is actually either a male or female.  The male trees produce pollen and the female trees produce flowers which will become fruit IF (and it’s a big IF) they are pollenated.  You see, bees and other insects are attracted to the pollen from these male trees, but they are not so attracted to the flowers of the female tree.  This variety relies on wind to carry the pollen from the male to the female, and if the trees aren’t close enough together, it just won’t happen.  “Tree procreation” for these guys is not so easy.

I can see one of these trees out my bedroom window:  tall, slender, covered in 5 inch thorns for protection, blowing in the breeze, not only surviving in the wind but begging for the gusts that might harm most other plants… for this is her only way to have her children.  No romance.  No birds.  Not even bees.  Just wind.

This is the date palm.  In Hebrew, “Tamar.”

A date palm can grow in unusually salty soil that would destroy most other plants.  It thrives in intensely hot, dry, and sunny environments.  As I just mentioned, it’s pollination relies on chance.  In other words, The date palm, “Tamar,” is a survivor!

So it is with our Tamar of the Torah this week.  She was married to a son of Judah, one of Jacob’s grandsons, but he was a man so despised by God, God chose to wipe him away rather than allow him and Tamar to have a child.  After her husband’s death, Tamar was given to her brother-in-law (as was the custom of the time for a younger brother to have children in his older brother’s name), but this was a man so selfish he rather spill his seed to the ground than allow his inheritance to be diminished by having the children who would be his older brother’s heirs.  After he died, Tamar was cast aside by her father-in-law, Judah, and sent to live with her own father.   Judah promised that when his third son came of age, they would marry, but never acted out of fear that that son would also die by her side.  So she lived with her father… waiting… promised to the third son, but never delivered.

What was this woman to do with her life?

As she sat in her own father’s household, now widowed twice and childless, bound to a husband that was never going to come, she realized what she had to do.

Tamar had learned that her father-in-law, Judah, was coming near. He had just completed his own grieving period for his wife and was surely lonely.   So this “date palm,” Tamar, removed her widow’s garb, planted her feet onto the salty earth, wrapped herself in a veil of thorns, and sat, waiting for a wind storm to blow so she could have a child.  And blow it did as Judah approached her, and entered into her arms, believing she was a veiled prostitute.

Of course, when it was discovered that Tamar — a widow still bound to Judah’s household — was pregnant, Judah called for her death.  But when Tamar could prove Judah was the father of her unborn child, he admitted that he was as wrong as she because he never gave her the promised third son.  Tamar lived, and gave birth to twin boys.

It is certainly no accident that our heroine this week is named after this tough tree that survives in harsh environmental conditions and faces such challenging pollination.  Date farmers actually have to hand pollinate their date trees in order to ensure a healthy harvest.  They do so at great risk, having to cut away the thorns of the tree, climb to dizzying heights, and participate in an intricate process of fertilization and harvesting.  So, Tamar too, had to withstand great planning and danger in order to have the offspring she so desperately needed.

What made Tamar so strong?  So able to withstand the circumstance she was handed?  So clear on her mission even when she knew it was morally questionable at best and punishable by death at worst?

Nowhere in this text does it say that Tamar heard the voice of God, but I believe she was a prophetess, worthy of praise on the level of Abraham who heard “Go to yourself,” Rebecca who heard, “And the older shall serve the younger,” or Jacob who heard, “Remember, I am with you.”  I believe Tamar heard the voice of God, perhaps a feminine Godly voice, that said, “You were named Tamar by me, for I knew in your life you would have to withstand terrible conditions in order to have a child.  But you will be the mother who will birth the ancestors of great leaders and saviors.  Go to your father-in-law, Judah, and by his seed blowing in My wind, you will be impregnated with twins who will replace the wretched two he lost.  They will take their rightful places at Jacob’s table.  You will be the mother of a future generation of Kings.”  And it is said that Tamar was the matriarch of King David’s line.

There have been times or will be times of tragedy in all of our lives when we feel we must be date palms —  feet rooted in the salty earth, bodies holding strong against a windy storm, somehow able to survive the elements against all odds and walk boldly into the future.  It is in those times when many of us, no matter how religious we are, turn to prayer.  When we do… when we speak to God, sheepish and unsure if anyone is listening, do we ever hear an answer?  Do we hear a voice, whether we believe that voice to be from a God on high or just our inner-selves shining a light on what we know we must do?  And if we do hear a voice, will that response ever be recorded in a scroll, or a book?  Probably not.   Our conversations with our Godselves will remain private like Tamar’s.  But in Tamar’s time of tragedy, she heard a voice, and that voice showed her that motherhood was her destiny.  In our quiet moments of pain, don’t we, too, sometimes see or hear Truth more clearly?  Don’t we realize what is important?  What is right or wrong for us?  Who and what we could or should be?  And don’t those realizations sometimes go against the social norms of our family or community or society, just like Tamar?   Are we as strong as she to act anyway?   Do we follow the voices from within or without?

I invite all of us, you and me, to think of Tamar when we find ourselves needing to be grounded deeply in the earth while our limbs are waving in a storm.  In those moments when we ask the Universe, “Why?  How?  When?  Me?,” let’s promise to try to listen.  The answers may not be easy to accept, but if we act upon them, perhaps we will not just survive but thrive.

Perhaps we are to be the mothers or fathers of greatness.

Please join Cool Shul for a pre-Chanukah Shabbat celebration, menorah candle lighting, and Chanukah jam session.  For info, click here.

What Falafel Taught me About Life

My parents had been in town for a few days, and for their last night I decided to make my speciality for dinner… Falafel.  I have THE BEST falafel recipe (thanks to Chef Danny of Culinary Kidz). It truly ruined my entire family for any other falafel anywhere. Light, crispy, perfectly seasoned. Wrapped in a pita with Israeli salad, humus, and hot sauce, it’s a slice of heaven!

So there I was, falafel mix ready to go, standing over a pan full of oil, making little balls to drop in. One went in and the familiar sizzle hummed in the air. The next one… oil bubbled happily.  The third one… uh-oh. For some reason the falafel were dissolving in the oil!  I tried making the balls larger.  No go. I tried smaller.  Failure. My family members started giving me advice — add water?  Check the ingredients?  Wrong amounts?

“No!” I told them (I hate to admit, rather rudely). “I’ve made this 1000 times before. There is NO reason why this should be happening.”  So I kept on going. And the falafel kept dissolving.  I glanced at the recipe. I had done it all correctly, so I just kept going as if somehow the next batch would work.  Nothing did. We ate “falafel flakes” for dinner that night.

I’m not proud to say that I kind of panicked standing over my stove. I didn’t want to hear advice. I didn’t want anyone else to take over. I didn’t want to abandon the dish. There I was, wanting to do something special for my family, but my plan was falling apart (literally).  The lack of control over the melting meal made me crazy. It was if something tried and true was slipping through my fingers, and it was making my head spin and my whole mental computer go haywire.

It was just falafel, for goodness sakes, but somehow it felt like more.

I think many of us feel overwhelmed when things don’t work out as planned. It can be as simple as a dinner that is ruined, as disappointing as a vacation that gets re-routed or cancelled, as life- altering as a divorce, or as tragic as a shooter in a Parisian theater. But in every situation, we find ourselves saying over and over again, “This isn’t how it is supposed to be!”  We fight the reality of the present, and in that state, it is nearly impossible to imagine a solution.

No time does this happen more, I think, than during the winter holidays. The turkey gets burned. We miss the meal because we came down with the flu.  The cousins won’t stop arguing.  The weather goes bad.  And our children drop cranberry sauce on Grandma’s new, white carpet.  Dinner is terrible, the family is screaming, the kids are crying, and we want to holler, “This isn’t how it is supposed to be, damnit!”

Yup, we get so married to our expectations, it’s really tough to encounter the opposite. We all know that the pictures in magazines of happy families around Thanksgiving tables, Chanukah menorahs or Christmas trees are just that… pictures. Sometimes family time is that peaceful, but often, it ain’t. Yet we are continually so disappointed by our ideals being lessened that we can’t think clearly or see the forest from the trees. We can’t see the positive. We can’t see the humor.  We can’t see a solution to our disappointment that may be right under our noses.

Can I tell you something embarrassing?

After my “falafel flakes” were all done, and we sat down to eat whatever was salvaged from the pan, I took one more look at the recipe. I had glanced at it several times during my culinary nightmare, but I decided to give it one more peek.

Eggs. 

I had forgotten the *#% @&#* *}~¥!?@ eggs!  How had I missed that?

If I hadn’t been so darned stubborn… If I hadn’t allowed myself to get so twisted up about some little falafel…

If I had listened to my family’s advice, I would have turned off the oil, slowly read the recipe again, added the stupid eggs, and dinner would have been fabulous. But I didn’t. I was too busy denying the reality before me and willing it to be something it wasn’t.

I’m glad I learned this lesson over a dinner and not something more important, but there is no doubt that life is going to send me many more of these little tests, and next time, if I remember to keep my head on straight, I may be able to help myself and others think through a much more serious situation.

So as we enter this holiday week, soon to be followed by many more, let’s welcome when life-lessons come with minimal distress.  Let’s practice with the small stuff. When your plans get ruined, your expectations are not met, your flight is cancelled, take a deep breath, and remember my falafel.  Walk away from the moment, maybe step outside for a little air, and make sure that what you need to restore your inner peace isn’t actually right there in front of you.

Maybe you just need a couple eggs.

Shabbat Shalom, my friends. Have a safe and (relatively) happy Thanksgiving.

Cantor (8 weeks from being a “Rantor”) Diane.

falafel image

Save the date for our next Cool Shul Shabbat, December 4.