Get that Judaism out of your head and into your hands! This year on the 'Raising Holy Sparks' podcast we will focus on Jewish ideas and we will be asking how we can live them out in a personal and meaningful way. We will strive to take the abstract and theoretical concepts of Judaism and turn them into the practical. Rabbi Misha Clebaner is a passionate educator of Judaism and Spirituality.
Practical Judaism - Bo
As global cultures have shifted in the past century, traditional conceptions of women in religion are starting to shift as well. Yet these ideas are not entirely new. Although the first Eastern European Jewish school for girls started in 1907, there was a school for Sephardic girls in London that had opened in 1731.
Practical Judaism - Va'era
There are a variety of reasons that we may be happy at the exact same moment when someone else is in pain or failing. In the case of this teaching from the Talmud, the angels cheering on the Israelites were happy to see the slavemasters and charioteers of the Egyptian Pharoah drowning in the Sea of Reeds. The failure of the Egyptian army meant the survival of Israelite families. In this new (secular) year let us not rejoice at the downfall of others, but rather let's weep that suffering exists for anyone.
Practical Judaism - Shemot
Clothing can be transformative. It can help us connect to our heritage. It can make us feel beautiful. It can take us from feeling down and out and transform us into feeling like we RUN the world! There is a teaching that says the Israelites were worthy of redemption because they stayed true to their heritage and to themselves in three ways: they did not change their names, language, or clothing. How does clothing impact the way that you think or feel?
Practical Judaism - Vayechi
In this week's torah portion of Vayechi, we conclude the Book of Genesis with a lesson on assertiveness and self-advocacy from Joseph as he gently reprimands his father, Jacob, for giving the correct blessing to the wrong child. What an act of bravery and courage! How rare it is to reprimand an authority figure, a hero, or a loved one!
Practical Judaism - Vayigash
In this week's parasha of Vayigash, the story of Joseph comes full circle. It starts off with him being hated by his brothers for his over-active imagination and wild dreams. But now, it is these very dreams and his ability to interpret dreams that allows for him to rise through the ranks of the Egyptian court. The quality that others perceive, or even we ourselves perceive, to be our greatest weakness is actually connected to our greatest strength. This week, let's NOT change a thing about ourselves!
Practical Judaism - Hanukkah
What is the difference between a ceremony and a holiday? In a wedding ceremony, for example, you perform rituals and recite specific words with the intention that you will try your hardest to fulfill them. You are committing yourself to those ideas. A holiday is a celebration of someone else that did the hard work of dedicating themselves to an idea. You are merely applauding their efforts. Let us reflect on the areas of our lives where we are on auto-pilot and where we could use some rededication..
Holy Holy Holy!
What a blessing to encounter inspiring Jewish ideas from around the world with Reb Misha!
I really enjoyed listening to this podcast. I look forward every week to seeing what the new episodes will be. Highly recommended!!
Rabbi Clebaner does a great job talking about the big ideas in plain English. Can’t wait to hear more!