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chochmat halev Hanukkah
December 14, 2017

The miracle of the ordinary

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— Last Tuesday night, a great miracle happened in Alabama. But it was no miracle. It was the natural consequence of a group of ordinary people who exercised their civic duty, got out and...


The spark that glitters under the clutter
December 07, 2017

The spark that glitters under the clutter

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim, This week’s Torah portion, VaYeshev (Genesis 37:1 - 40:23) introduces us to the Torah’s most famous dreamer, Joseph. His dreams portend greatness, disaster, salvation, trouble, and redemption. It is heartening (though a...


Can the Deity of our subconscious be trusted?
December 01, 2017

Can the Deity of our subconscious be trusted?

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— This weekend will be a first for the Bay Area. On Sunday, December 3, Chochmat HaLev and Kehilla Community Synagogue are welcoming and hosting SVARA for a full day of Talmud study....


Holiness hides in the folds of human weakness
November 17, 2017

Holiness hides in the folds of human weakness

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— I met a friend for a glass of wine after work recently.  We hadn’t seen each other in a while and after the preliminary niceties the conversation turned to matters closer to...


berkeley jewish chochmat halev
November 10, 2017

Seeing with the eye of kinship

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— I’m back in the cool and misty Bay after a few weeks in the overheated Middle East. Folks here seem a bit chilly, withdrawn, and insular, unlike the Holy Landers who tend...


Unraveling our difficult story
November 03, 2017

Unraveling our difficult story

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— For the last 10 days I’ve been wrestling, wondering, and wandering with an extraordinary group of Jewish and Christian clergy in Israel.  At the Shalom Hartman Institute we’ve learned with and from...


chochmat halev renewal judaism
October 27, 2017

Trust in your own unfolding

This week’s Maggid’s Musing is sent to us from Israel, where Maggid Jhos is participating in the JCRC/Shalom Hartman Institute’s Christian-Jewish Leadership Project. Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— It’s 6:00 a.m. in Jerusalem. When I awoke, I...


I'm spiritual, not religious
September 15, 2017

I’m spiritual, not religious

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— Very often I hear folks say, “I’m spiritual, but not religious.”  (To be precise “religion” derives from the Latin religare meaning ‘to bind’, and by definition religiosity includes binding beliefs, practices and obligations. The...


Investigate-drash-interpret
August 30, 2017

Investigate-drash-interpret

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tetze (Deut. 21:10-25:19) is chock full with social rules and edicts that range from compassionate and noble to downright nasty and cruel. On the one hand we...


DIVINE IMAGINATION New Social Hall Art Exhibit
August 28, 2017

DIVINE IMAGINATION New Social Hall Art Exhibit

Susan Freundlich Photography at Chochmat HaLev September and October 2017 www.susanfreundlichphoto.com With a wide open aperture of the heart, Susan Freundlich explores the presence of the Divine all around us −- in the intricate designs...


Be Peaceful
August 25, 2017

Be Peaceful

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— In 1995 I participated in the International Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life, in commemoration of the end of World War II.  The Pilgrimage started with a 10-day convocation in Oswiecim, Poland....


Setting before you blessing and curse
August 18, 2017

Setting before you blessing and curse

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— Oh, sweet Shabbes! It can feel so hard to accept the gift of a full day of peace and rest when there is so much unchecked anger, loss, pain and frustration in...


Question authority?
August 11, 2017

Question authority?

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— Our son, Michael, and I went to the “Summer of Love” exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco today. After a few hours of staring at Stanley Mouse and Alton...


The illusion of purity and everyday messy holiness
June 30, 2017

The illusion of purity and everyday messy holiness

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah Portion, Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1) begins with what might be considered a Jewish koan, one of those pesky Zen riddles, statements, or paradoxes to be meditated upon in the hopes of...