Naked Reflection

This semester, I am teaching a course called “Midrash and the Rabbinic Imagination” at the University of British Columbia. Yesterday, students turned in the first formal paper, during a very busy midterm week. So, we relaxed with a little Bibliodrama: improvisational theatre exploring what takes place “between the lines” of the Hebrew Bible. We explored the space between Genesis 1:26 and 1:27. In verse 26, God says, “Let us make […]

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Philos-Sophia

Why worry about consciousness when the political world is falling apart around us? Isn’t it like “fiddling while Rome burns”? On the contrary – says Plato – it’s the only practice that will make “Rome” endure. In the Republic, Plato asks, “Who should rule?” He answers, “One who has looked at the components of her or his consciousness and ordered them.” Ordering consciousness: that is his definition of philosophy, philos […]

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Praying for Presence

One day in the course of my recent work, I sat with four different people: one trying to rescue a relative lost in a foreign country, one who narrowly escaped danger alive, one making an uncertain career transition, and one hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Each one hoped for clarity, affirmation, and connection. Each one was uplifted by our contact. One made a plan, one felt loved, one moved forward […]

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Gateway to Kabbalah

The Hebrew word for Sophia is chochma. In the tradition of Kabbalah, the word chochma describes the very first glimmer of insight. In the erotic imagery popular among classical Kabbalistic writers, chochma is the sperm that gets enfolded in the womb of consciousness, and nourished into a fuller understanding.  Teens from Sophia Street, Vancouver, study a modern biology curriculum. They learn that sperm meets egg and the two become a […]

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Layers of Consciousness

My husband Charles is studying the history of Sophia Street. He has read books, viewed maps, scanned photographic archives, and visited the library’s Special Collections room. One of his favorite resources is a book of maps of Vancouver across the decades. He developed a special tool for reading the maps. On a blank transparency, he has drawn the boundaries of our neighborhood. He lays his transparency over each map, so […]

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