By David J. Steiner, Ed.D. ASHAMNU: we have been guilty, BAGADNU: we have betrayed, GAZALNU: we have stolen, DIBARNU DOFI: we have spoken falsely. Maybe it is time to look in the mirror and say KEYSHALNU: We have failed. We have failed because we have made Yom Kippur a day of repentance for our individual sins at the expense of our collective transgressions. We have failed because we have adopted the singular, unique and problematic … [Read more...] about Nu! Teaching the “We” in Yom Kippur
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By David J. Steiner, Ed.D. One of the benefits of having a lunar calendar that doesn’t sync up with the civil/gregorian calendar is that we start our Hebrew/religious school year at slightly different times in the Jewish year. This year, we are fortunate to have a month of school before the new year enters, and it’s clearly appropriate for teachers to be teaching about the Days of Awe in real time, including the rituals of the month of … [Read more...] about Lessons for Teachers from Hamilton and Some Dead Rabbis for the New Jewish Year
By David Steiner I am a Zionist, a liberal Zionist, a “beautiful soul” as my detractors would have it, and “I will not die but live” (Psalm 118:17) because my mission is too important. I am an heir to that divine command, “Walk in my ways and be innocent (Genesis 17:1).” And I take my inheritance seriously. My identity was ascribed in Egypt and assumed at Sinai. Not only did I choose to be a Jew, I was also labeled one, but I will not allow … [Read more...] about If James Brown were a Jew: Say it loud…
By David Steiner There are pearls of wisdom in Rabbi-Professor David Hartman’s 1982 essay Auschwitz or Sinai but, just as he would like (need) to argue with his teacher Soloveitchik, I feel compelled to revisit David Hartman who, I am certain, would not like his work to become a holy cow. John Dewey, whom Hartman clearly appreciated, also played with binaries to make a point. When Dewey did it, however, he wasn’t asking his audience to make … [Read more...] about Auschwitz or Sinai? Revisited
By Dr. Caryn Aviv and Dr. Karen Erlichman David Steiner recently wrote a provocative piece in this forum. As a secular Jew, Steiner was responding to feeling excluded by the use of the word ‘spiritual’ in Jewish spaces.’ Steiner argued that being secular is akin to being queer (LGBTQ). People don’t choose to be queer; it is who they are - and historically have experienced marginalization and persecution simply because of who they are. In … [Read more...] about This is Your Jewish Brain on Trauma