This is Rachel Barenblat's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Rachel Barenblat's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
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
Image
TEN SEDER LIES We didn't open the door for Elijah last night. Miriam's Cup wasn't full of living waters. The hidden matzah languished, unlooked-for. Costumes for the pageant never left their box. No one asked about the seder plate stowaways.... Continue reading
Posted 8 hours ago at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
GIFT You stand beside and sing the words with me. I did the same in Texas years ago. How is this night different? Come and see. My childhood seders aren't for you to know. You draw an orange on your... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
Chag sameach - happy Pesach! Tonight at our second-night seders we'll begin the tradition of Counting the Omer. "Omer" means measures. When the Temple still stood, it was customary to bring harvest offerings three times a year, at Sukkot, Pesach,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Velveteen Rabbi
Thanks, Serena! I just clicked through and read your response to this prompt, which I really like, too.
1 reply
I hear you -- a lot of religious poetry is treacly and sentimental, and satisfies me neither as a religious person nor as a poet. I'm glad this poem didn't disappoint!
1 reply
Image
BE What do you want to be? Have you always known? Can you imagine the becoming? What would it feel like? Would you carry your body differently? How would you walk in the world? Will you be at a seder... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
Tonight at the seder we will read or sing the psalms of Hallel. (At my house we'll do some reading, some Hebrew, some English poetry of praise. Tomorrow night at the synagogue's community seder we'll probably sing excerpts from the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
This morning my co-teacher and I hid scraps of chametz -- leaven -- around the synagogue. Not because we wanted to give our cleaning crew an extra challenge tomorrow, but because we wanted to teach some of our youngest members... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
CHANGE slavery into freedom midwives into dissidents basket into ark Hebrew into prince babbler into stutterer boy into man overseer into corpse bush into flame was into will-be fugitive into emissary staffs into snakes Nile into blood darkness into light... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
REDEMPTION IS Redemption is the sensory impression of leaving slavery, throngs shoving toward the parted seas. The redemption project was originally created by Malachi's promise to turn parents' hearts to their children, children to their parents. What do the beating... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
A Jewish Renewal perspective on the tetrad of lunar eclipses, by rabbinic student David Markus and Rabbi Rachel Barenblat. We in North America are about to experience four total lunar eclipses in a row which, incredibly, will coincide with Pesach... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
COUNT Soon we'll start to count each day the weeks until first harvest. Not grain; instead, discernment. Refine away the heart's dross on this labyrinth's curved path. When we get to forty-nine will we be poised to receive? Since today's... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
Thanks for the kind words, Susan! I'm not sure I got that email, but you're welcome to reprint the poem, as long as attribution remains attached. Thanks!
1 reply
Image
LEAVE As though it were easy. Just sling my jacket over my shoulder and head out the door. As though it didn't mean walking away from every awful certainty I've ever known. I didn't want to belong to power, instrument... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
ASK Why is this night different from all other nights? Don't we know the answer to that already? Why are they called "the four questions" when it's really one question with four answers? Do you believe we were slaves to... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
ALWAYS MORE TO LEARN It's time to unearth the haggadot again. Scour the countertops before the night we'll gather around the table, all ears to hear the story our people tell: once were slaves, now we're free -- that's why... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2014 at Velveteen Rabbi
*hug*
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2014 on Daily April poem - a love poem at Velveteen Rabbi
1 reply
Thank you, Serena!
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2014 on Daily April poem - a love poem at Velveteen Rabbi
1 reply
Image
TO MY HAGGADAH Over the years your staples have slipped and pages loosened. Here a faded purple crescent of ancient wine, there a smudge from bricks of date paste. But when you speak I swoon. Tell me again how we... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
This past Shabbat was my first Shabbat home from my trip to Israel and the West Bank, and I settled back into our usual Friday evening traditions. Step one is a trip to the A-Frame bakery for a challah and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
SUNDAY AFTERNOON Bare branches splay across egshell sky inviting the tiny caress of squirrel feet, the sharp peck of a bird, seeking. Parked cars rest, awaiting orders. Electricity races invisibly through unmoving power lines. Rooftops have shed their winter coats.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
Here's the d'var Torah I offered at my shul yesterday morning for parashat Metzora. (Cross-posted to my From the Rabbi blog.) I'm also posting this as a contribution to #blogExodus, for today's prompt "Clean." In this week's Torah portion we... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
AT THE WALL The same molded plastic chairs, there as everywhere: in this way it is like the nearby market stalls, though nothing is bought or sold. We come to pray, to pour out our hearts. Look, on the men's... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2014 at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
At this time of year a lot of energy goes toward preparations. At my synagogue, emails are flying fast and furious about our second-night community seder: do we have enough flatware? How about coffee urns? Who's going to take care... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2014 at Velveteen Rabbi
Image
We're one day closer to Pesach. One day closer to celebrating our freedom from slavery in Mitzrayim. Usually that name is rendered as "Egypt," but it means "The Narrow Place." What are the narrow places from which you need to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at Velveteen Rabbi