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Rachel Barenblat
Rachel Barenblat became a rabbi in January of 2011, and has been blogging as The Velveteen Rabbi since 2003.
Interests: Judaism, religion, ecumenism, poetry, motherhood, Christianity, Islam, liturgy, prayer, midrash, fandom.
Recent Activity
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You are the shofar calling me to rise from my slumber. You are the voice of my beloved knocking at my heart. You are love washing over me like bright moonlight. You are melody expanding my chest with healing tears.... Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at Velveteen Rabbi
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1. We have set up a circle of chairs behind the synagogue, surrounded by mountains and wetland and field. At the beginning of morning prayer the air is chill, but by the time we reach the bar'chu, the formal call... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Velveteen Rabbi
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Sometimes I manage formal conversation, a love letter morning and evening and afternoon but most of the time I rely on the chat window open between us all day. I tell you everything. This month you are near. Walk with... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Velveteen Rabbi
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You remind me not to fear change. Change is like breathing: without it, death (itself a change I can't yet understand.) You remind me what stays the same: roots to ground me, hope to uplift me, my tender heart, my... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
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What I'm here to learn: that it's okay to take up space with my ungainly heart. That I can love what I love and you will never roll your eyes. That I deserve a place at the table and my... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
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There's a lovely article by Rachel Kurland about the ALEPH Ordination Programs in the Jewish Exponent this week. Here's how it begins: California students call in at breakfast. East Coast students sign on during lunch. European students check in at... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
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when I close my eyes and when I open them again when I'm sitting at home and when I'm out and about (I know I'm not supposed to text and drive but I send you notes anyway full of emoji... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
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Always already you've forgiven me. I failed you. I turned away. I convinced myself I didn't need you. I made myself forget how much sweeter everything is with you in it. I was afraid I wasn't enough. And when I... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
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That you love me without reservation. That nothing I feel could alienate you. That you don't want me to be someone I'm not. That if I went to the ends of the earth you'd be there too holding me in... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
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Times when my wrenching fear of disappointing you made me close off our connection -- I remember every one. Times when you've been as close to me as my own heart, when I've been suffused with gratitude all day long... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
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Being seen wholly is more intimate than any embrace. Being known beyond any pretense, any veil I wear. Gift beyond measure: I don't have to hide from your loving eyes. I'm participating again this year in #blogElul, an internet-wide carnival... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
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What's amazing is that you hear me. You hear what I say and what I leave unsaid. You hear the stirrings of my most hidden heart. What's amazing is no matter what I say I'll never be too much for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
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You make me want to be better. In your eyes I become more. No one else sees me the way you do. I see myself through your eyes and think: that's not the me I know me to be. It's... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
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You know everything there is to know. Who I am, and who I was last time round. How I carry myself (eyes forward, head high) when there's a chasm gaping in my chest and how my voice wavers when I'm... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
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When someone I love is suffering, I don't want to accept it. When someone I love is navigating illness or depression: I don't want to accept it. When someone I love is hurting, I want to do everything I can... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
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Sometimes our high holiday liturgy may be difficult to understand. There are a lot of words. There are extra prayers and poems and hymns. There are allusions to theology -- or more accurately, to theologies, plural, because our understanding of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
That should not have happened! Hebrew cover - so you ordered it from Lulu? I'm going to email you now - this should be fixed.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2015 on Second edition of Days of Awe at Velveteen Rabbi
1 reply
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show me your face in the face in front of me show me your light in familiar eyes show me your heart in the overflowing of mine show me how to be hollow so you can pour through me show... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
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One of the challenges of spiritual life is figuring out how to infuse mundane acts with spirit and heart. Can I train myself to wake in the morning and immediately put down the needle of my mental record player in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
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A few nights ago a friend reminded us that the Perseid meteors were going to be visible. So around 9pm we turned off all of our lights and went outside and lay on our backs on the deck and stared... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
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Sometimes in the morning I find myself singing the words אין מספיק כפה בעולם / ein maspik cafe ba'olam -- "there's not enough coffee in the world" -- to the Rizhyner's melody for Ana B'Koach. (That's the first mp3 of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
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This weekend we'll enter into the lunar month of Elul -- the four weeks leading up to the Days of Awe. This is the time to begin the journey of introspection and reflection which can deeply enrich your experiences of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
Jewish tradition contains the practice of reciting a confessional prayer daily, annually, and before death. Some years ago, while in the ALEPH Hashpa'ah (Spiritual Direction) program, I was assigned the task of writing my own. After I was blessed recently... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
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Judaism believes in the particularity of time, that certain times have special spiritual properties: that Shabbat has an extra degree of holiness; that Pesach (Passover) is the time of our liberation; that Shavuot is a time unusually conducive to revelation.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2015 at Velveteen Rabbi
Thank you, honey! I'm so glad it speaks to you.
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2015 on Missing You at Velveteen Rabbi
1 reply