faith

Autism And Faith: A Conversation With Shelly Christensen

Editor's Note: This blog originally appears on Faith Inclusion Network.

I initially “met” Shelly Christensen on the phone, when I called with some questions related to the inclusion of people with disabilities into Jewish communities.  She was incredibly generous with her time and, some 40 minutes later, I felt like I had a new friend in Minnesota.  Not long afterward, we got the chance to meet in person at an AAIDD conference and now we talk frequently since she is a Faith Inclusion Network National Board Adviser. 

Shelly has a lot of experience as a faith and disability advocate, traveling across the country to speak and be involved in many large Jewish and interfaith initiatives.  But what I appreciate personally about Shelly is her gift of encouragement.  I always come away from our conversations feeling wonderful!  Thank you for that beautiful gift and for all you continue to do to further the national faith and disability movement, Shelly.

Shelly and her son Jake. Courtesy of Shelly Christensen

What Are YOU Thankful For? Part 2

Editor's Note: In honor of Thanksgiving, we asked our "New Normal" contributors to reflect on the intersection of gratitude and disability. We'd love to hear what you are thankful for in the comments below! Read part one here.

When raising a child who has autism, a sleep disorder, and all of the other diagnoses that come as a result, I often hear, "I don't know how you do it." The simplest answer is that we all do what we need to do. This is our life; it is the only life we know. And even though it is extremely challenging at times, we love our son unconditionally and we do what we need to do to give him what he needs.

The Steinhart Family. Courtesy of Meir Pliskin Photography

Each Of Us Deserves To Imagine Our Future: Lessons From Lech Lecha

The difficulty of paying attention while praying is so well known that it is a source of mirth. Tom Sawyer squirms until the minister's "Amen," after which he feels free to capture an annoying insect. Our sages were well aware of the mind's tendency to wander.  They rarely made concentration during prayer absolutely mandatory. One exception is the end of the first paragraph of the Amidah (silent devotion): "Blessed are You, Lord, the Shield of Abraham." The origin of the prayer perhaps explains the need to concentrate during its recitation.

Strands Intertwined And A Yom Kippur Dream

Have you ever had a vivid dream more meaningful than real events? Such was my Yom Kippur dream over fifty years ago.

In the dream, I stood next to my father in Temple Beth El in Asbury Park, NJ. The congregation was reciting the Al Chet "For the sin which we have committed before You" Yom Kippur prayer.

As I recited each sin, I struck my chest lightly as I had been taught. My feet felt the floor slanting down towards the front row. The choir, supported by the organ, was holding one long continuous note. It was my most spiritual moment of the year.

Notes written by Rabbi Levy's father. Courtesy of Michael Levy

“Jewish Is Hard”

There are two things you should never discuss: politics and religion.

However, those are really the only two things worth talking about.

Katharine McLeod and Jamie Geiger in “The Religion Thing.” Jimmy Ryan

The Akeidah: Faith And Trust

10/14/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 5:52 p.m.
Torah: Genesis 18:1-22:24
Haftarah: II Kings 4:1-37
Havdalah: 6:51 p.m.

Editor's Note: 5774 will be a special treat for online readers of "Sabbath Week." The Jewish Week is thrilled to bring our weekly Torah commentary together with artist Archie Rand's "Chapter Paintings:" one accompanies, illustrates and illuminates every Torah portion. The art will be available first on the Jewish Week's homepage slide carousel, and then on our Arts page carousel... that is, until the next week, when the next portion, painting and dvar Torah take their turn. Read more about the artist and his work here.

Fred Ehrman

The Eternal Conversation

Rabbi Rick Jacobs: 'I think about God every day. I'm not petitioning. I'm not praising. I'm simply sitting with the One.'
03/11/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Editor’s Note: This article introduces a new column in which Rabbi Alfredo Borodowski, executive director of the Skirball Center for Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-el and founding rabbi of Congregation Sulam Yaakov in Larchmont, asks leading religious figures, thinkers and activists in Jewish life what they think about God? He began with Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Religion and Social Media

With about a billion users between Facebook and Twitter alone, more topics than just Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga are being discussed on social media networks today. Religion is certainly one of them.

More users report using social media for religious purposes

A Life Without Limbs, a Life Without Limits

Special Report from the World Economic Forum
01/23/2011 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

In this exciting gathering in the snowy Alps, where does a humble man with no arms or legs fit into conversations about speed, power, innovation, wealth, and the global future?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz
Syndicate content