Blessing the Sea – Issue 2, September 2020

“Blessed are you, our eternal G-d, Ruler of the Universe, who made the great sea.”
A traditional, though rarely heard today, Jewish blessing upon encountering the majesty and the power of a large body of water. It’s a small but powerful reminder of many opportunities throughout the day to stop the rush and experience the reality, to touch its divine nature.

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to see almost 70 people subscribing now to a newsletter which just began one month ago. I also appreciate your feedback on 
Blessing the Sea #1. I hope this new issue will offer you some insight and respite during these truly extraordinary times as we celebrate High Holidays amidst the pandemic and face the mounting spiritual pressures of the presidential elections. Let it be a good season, and a good, sweet year for you!

Lane


This Holiday Season, We Are in Charge

These extraordinary times offer an opportunity to create individual sacred spaces to celebrate the end of one Jewish year and the start of another. Our homes have already morphed into surrogate offices, schools, and playgrounds; now they’re about to become miniature synagogues (My opinion piece published by Forward, a leading Jewish news publication, on Sept. 16, 2020.)

Forgiving a Hurtful Relative

High Holidays are the traditional time of year to forgive others for the wrong they’ve done to you, and to ask for forgiveness in return. But how can you forgive someone who hurt you? Memories of abuse, wounds open up. You don’t want to go into those places. A Thich Nhat Hahn’s meditation and Psalm 27 offer guideposts (An edited version of my talk at “Stories of Forgiveness: A Collaborative Selichot Program,” Sept. 12, 2020.)

Against Polarization

Something has changed drastically in the last several years in the political debates in the US: not so much the topics, but the debates themselves. They’ve gotten more virulent, either/or, “wish so-and-so gets sued; put in prison; catches COVID” kind of vitriol. What’s the alternative? 

Setting the Right Intention with Morning Prayers: Acknowledging Body and Soul 

In the Buddhist tradition, the path towards wisdom and liberation from suffering starts with the right view and the right intention. Morning prayers provide the time and space to cultivate those qualities  (The second installment in a 3-part post I wrote for the Applied Jewish Spirituality blog.)

Shanah Tovah, Mamma Mia…

A few years back I came upon this wonderfully wacky assortment of vintage Rosh Hashannah cards. Both the cards and their descriptions are precious.

From my home to yours, l’Shanah Tovah!

-Lane

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