Shalom Shir Tikvah
I am returning from my second of Rabbis Without Borders retreats through CLAL: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.
I joined Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and Unaffiliated rabbis from across the United States and Canada for two days of deep learning and exploration.
One of the big questions we continue to explore is “what is YOUR Torah?” As you know, I am preparing to leave Shir Tikvah at the end of my contract in June 2014. It is an exciting time for me as I explore different options for my rabbinate. The Rabbis Without Borders Fellowship has been a powerful laboratory to explore the question of “what IS my Torah” and the follow-up question “how will I share my Torah with others?”
Two pieces of learning I wanted to share with you from my time at RWB:
- 1) We spent Monday night learning with the Kirtan Rabbi. Engaging in spiritual chanting was new and exhilarating. Seeing how different traditions can work together to enhance spirituality was an important reminder that we are each responsible for finding what is meaningful and engaging for ourselves and then pursuing it. Kirtan might not be the mode for you- but what is? How can I help you explore that question?
- 2) We spoke for over two hours with bioethicist Arthur Caplan. He shared with us his process for encountering an ethical issue. I wonder: what are our processes for handling the ethically challenging moments in our own lives? What is your process? How (if at all) do you bring your Judaism into that process? Would you like to engage in more Jewish ethical learning?
There will be two more Rabbis Without Borders learning opportunities this year and I look forward to sharing some of that learning with all of you.
Want to talk more? Let’s schedule coffee!
-Rabbi Melissa B. Simon, Director of Lifelong Learning