Anointed by Synchronicity

olive oil

Synchronicity, as defined by Carl Jung, occurs when two or more events are connected by their meanings — though not necessarily by physical cause and effect. We might notice synchronicity when it takes us by surprise, or when it answers a question we are struggling with. The Ba’al Shem Tov articulates a Jewish version of synchronicity when he says, “Study some Torah in the morning. Whatever Torah you studied will […]

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Horseradish Harvest

Helen Horseradish

Yesterday at Or Shalom Synagogue in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, we harvested horseradish from our synagogue garden. We are an urban synagogue, with only a few garden beds on our property. Still, we pulled from the earth enough horseradish for about twenty Passover Seder gatherings. Our spring harvest was part of an afternoon gathering we called the “Interfaith Garden Cafe.” A group of fifteen Jews and Christians gathered to explore […]

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God’s Kitchen


I miss Donna’s kitchen, so far away in North Carolina. Any afternoon or evening, any time, with or without kids, I could come over and sit on a stool at the kitchen counter. Donna would make us a pot of nana tea – the comfort of mint mixed with the stimulation of caffeine. We would chat in the plainest of terms about what was on our minds. How we aren’t […]

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A Grandmother’s Wisdom

LDK, Ruthie, Hillary 1994

My mother’s mother died long before I was born, so I never met my grandmother. She seems to have been some sort of goddess. She never raised her voice, never had a blemish or a wrinkle, equally loved three very different children, created a stable home in spite of her husband’s gambling addiction, spoke perfect English though an immigrant, etc. Her name was Leah and yes, as her namesake, I […]

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Hiding Behind the Veil

Moses icon 18th century

After God passes the Divine goodness by Moses, Moses dons a veil. From that day on, he unveils his face only when talking with God. (Exodus 24:3-35). So Parshat Ki Tissa, read in synagogues last week, teaches. Why does Moses wear the veil? Maybe his thoughts and feelings are written all over his face. And, at this point in his career, caught between divine radiance and human frailty, he just does not […]

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