Reflections on the New Sanctuary Coalition Accompaniment Training

Ansche Chesed hosted The New Sanctuary Coalition (NSC) for an Accompaniment Training. The Accompaniment training was open to Ansche Chesed members, as well as the wider community. We had an overflowing room with over 100 individuals present for the training. The NSC accompaniment program recruits and trains volunteers to accompany people facing deportation to their… Read more »

God of Abraham … and Job?

The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah. Who else belongs on the list of sainted ancestors that begins our Amidah? I want to share with you a daring, stimulating and challenging midrash that may provide a harmonic note for your prayer. An early medieval midrash, Pesikta Rabbati (Aharei Mot, #47), includes… Read more »

Merit of Our Matriarchs

א’להי אברהם א’להי יצחק וא’להי יעקב … א’להי שרה א’להי רבקה א’להי רחל וא’להי לאה/God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob, God of Sarah, God of Rebecca, God of Rachel and God of Leah. The initial blessing [“Avot”] of the Amidah invokes “the merit of our ancestors” by citing Exodus 3.6, God’s… Read more »

ברוך אתה/Barukh Atah Adonay…  

This introduction to every traditional blessing may be the most familiar phrase in the Jewish lexicon. It rolls off the tongue of even non-observant Jews.   So what does it mean?  Let’s focus today just on the word barukh.   We typically translate this as blessed or praised are You, Adonay. This constitutes a kind of joyous apostrophe: hooray! How wonderful is Hashem! That works, although there… Read more »

Our God, the God of Our Ancestors …

א’להינו ואלהי אבותינו /Eloheinu v’Elohei avoteinu. Praying Jews seek God both as individual souls and as children bearing זכות אבות/zekhut avot, the “merit of the ancestors.” We are not alone. When we daven, Abraham & Sarah are shuckeling right beside us, their virtues and good deeds supporting us. I groove when davening as I imagine… Read more »