Reform Really

Sprightly, inspiring musings from Rabbi Marci Bellows of Temple B'nai Torah on Long Island.

Open Yourself To Moments Of Unexpected Holiness

06/13/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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Last week, I rode a record-breaking roller coaster. Kingda Ka, as it is known, is the tallest and second-fastest in the world. It climbs as high as 45 stories into the sky: closer to the heavens than any other ride. There was peacefulness, and a sense of closeness to God (though I know that those who are afraid of roller coasters will scoff at my sense of divinity).

Rabbi Marci Bellows

What A Rabbi Learned From Her Roller Coaster Of A Wedding

Were a series of glitches leading up to the big day bad omens, or tests?

05/22/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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Everybody says their wedding was a rollercoaster, but mine really was, what with a blackout, a flood and a fire.

Rabbi Marci Bellows

A Rabbi's New Wedding Role -- As Bride

04/05/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

As some of my readers may remember, I am getting married later this month. I feel so lucky to have met my soulmate, and our relationship gets stronger and stronger as the months pass. And, though I’ve officiated at dozens and dozens of weddings, I find myself feeling as though we are creating the whole thing from scratch. I guess I expected myself to be an expert on all things wedding, but I’ve learned the lesson that you are probably all anticipating: it’s always different when it is your own event!

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

Why We Still Wait For The Messianic Times

03/18/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Ani Maamin – I believe with perfect faith in the coming of a messianic era. In Reform ideology, we don’t necessarily wait for an individual Messiah, but we do encourage people to do all they can to create a better world, and to work towards a time when all will be peaceful, loving, and safe. Among Jews of various denominations, we have differing opinions about what will bring the Messiah. Some believe that, once every eligible Jew has observed certain mitzvot (like laying tefillin or lighting Shabbat candles), the Messiah will finally arrive. Others believe that, once things get particularly bad, the Messiah will surely come. I have a bit of a different idea.

Rabbi Marci Bellows

Wanted: Diverse Jewish Experiences

02/28/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

“Let’s go!” I said, excitedly waving my hands in encouragement. “Let’s go dance with them!” We stood up, grasped the hand of the person nearest to us, and joined in the celebratory dance around the sanctuary. As the melodies of Lecha Dodi surrounded us, I watched a new feeling of joy develop on the faces of my students. They had never before had the chance to express themselves through dance in a Shabbat worship experience, and it was just the first of many eye-opening experiences of the weekend.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

The Wall For All

02/15/2013

President Obama is now set to visit Israel in March. I’m sure he has a busy itinerary filled with many important meetings with many important people. Yet, in my dreams, I like to imagine that he would have an opportunity to sit down with a particularly important person: Anat Hoffman, of the Israel Religious Action Center, and chairwoman of Women of the Wall.

Rabbi Marci Bellows

Creating Healthy Jews

01/24/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

I’s always so much fun to put together a packet of information for a new wedding couple. They enter my office with excitement, trepidation, anticipation, and nervousness.

Rabbi Marci Bellows

"It's Gonna Be a Happy New Year"

01/07/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

There’s a funny e-card that you can send to your friends that reads: “It would really help me in the office pool if you would fail at your New Year’s resolution sometime between January 7th and 9th.”

Rabbi Marci Bellows

Where Was God? Is It Fair To Ask?

12/19/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

As the world struggles to understand the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., and the 27 lives lost (including 20 beautiful, little, precious children), it is impossible to resist asking a series of questions: How did this happen? Where was God?

Rabbi Marci Bellows

Rebuilding: A Holy Community Through It All

11/18/2012

“Well, it looks like the voluntary evacuations just became mandatory,” I said to the room of Adult Ed students. I was trying, unsuccessfully, to show a film, but it seemed that the lack of success was meant to be – it enabled us to get a head start on the preparations for the approaching hurricane. As a congregation on the South Shore of Long Island, we were quite concerned about the storm. Many of our congregants lived within the evacuated area south of Merrick Road, and the dire warnings had us all frightened.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows
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