I was only 16 when I left my community of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn, convinced I was on an upward trajectory. I was, after all, trading the prospect of Brooklyn College for Vassar, abandoning the staid, simple streets of Bensonhurst for the lush opulence of the quad in Poughkeepsie and later Manhattan, leaving behind the little shul where I sat with my mom in the obligatory women’s section for the vast progressive egalitarian temples that were sprouting everywhere in America.
Are we bound together by common purposes and goals? (This approach is beloved by the community organizers.) Or is there something deeper, more intimate, in the idea of community, something that reaches down to family? In this construct, the community provides the individual much of what the family provides; it’s the idea of kinship.
One of the most dramatic changes I have observed over the course of my 35-plus years practicing psychotherapy is that when a phone call interrupts a therapy session nowadays, it is most often the patient’s phone that is ringing and not the therapist’s.
Trying to resist the urge to tap my foot to the lively beat of the ring tone, I could not help smiling as a patient of mine recently retrieved her blaring cell phone from her purse.
* (JTA) — Jewish groups praised President Obama for reversing a Bush administration order banning U.S. assistance to overseas groups that provide abortions or information about other providers.
“The repeal of the Global Gag Rule represents a major victory for international family planning programs and renews America’s position as a leader in the global community,” Mark Pelavin, the associate director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center, said Friday.
In a city where so many cultures seek spiritual reawakening, scientists in Jerusalem are harvesting their own type of rebirth, as they develop more ways to save lives through the use of undifferentiated stem cells.
The laboratories of Israeli universities boast some of the newest advancements in molecular biology, and two potentially life-changing stem cell projects are unfolding at Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical School.
Aimee Beyda steals away for 45 minutes every morning to the quiet of her second bedroom, where she engages in an ancient practice that has transformed her life. Wrapped in a soft blanket, Beyda focuses on her inhalations and exhalations, the ebb and flow of her breath. She allows thoughts to wash over her, but not to drag her in or under.
“Meditating is like a pill. It takes the edge off things a little bit,” says Beyda. “If I’m down, I just say it’s OK. I can deal with that.”