Shabbat Shuvah 2019

(D’var Torah given at Congregation Bet Shalom, Tucson, AZ, October 5, 2019)

A few years ago, I spoke on Rosh Hashanah about my struggles with the liturgy and the theology of these holy days. There is so much power and meaning in the processes of introspection and renewal that we take on during this time of the year, and especially during these ten days of teshuvah between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.


This Friday will mark 3 years without my mother. 

For the last few days, I have found myself on the verge of tears at random moments. Memories surfacing in the midst of a busy day; images and feelings appearing as if out of nowhere, unconnected to what I am doing in that particular moment.

Awe and gratitude

I spent 5 hours in the last few weeks in the infusion clinic, while a machine, tubes, needles, and gravity worked together to slowly drip artificial minerals into my body, replenishing what apparently my body cannot produce on its own. 

I have many, many reasons to be angry and frustrated with the medical system right now (and for the last many years).

A promise

Yesterday I led a discussion on end-of-life issues in a Jewish context.

Someone thanked me for taking on such a difficult and challenging topic.

In many ways, it was not a choice.

In many ways, I was born into this work; it came to me with my mother’s milk.