Rabbi’s Yom Kippur Lesson: It’s Ok to Stumble in Prayer

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Yizkor at Yom Kippur can be one of the most powerful moments of the High Holy Days and one of the most terrifying. High Holy Days often draw the largest crowds, and mourners in different stages of grief may be nervous about displaying their personal sorrow among hundreds.

Today, I thank Rabbi David Stern, the senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, for teaching me about the beauty, power, and even the angst of yizkor. I left Dallas for Boston in 2004, but Rabbi Stern’s lesson of a decade ago remains with … Continue reading

Judaism, by baby steps

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My 4-month-old baby boy nestled in my arms, I walked into the sanctuary hoping to discreetly slip back into a seat by my husband.

“Simon,” Rabbi Howard Jaffe called out in his booming voice. “Come join us.”

It was time for the Aleinu prayer, and our temple’s tradition was to invite children to participate and open the doors of the ark.

Take my baby up to the bimah? What was the point?