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
Chodesh tov: happy new month! One of my friends said that to me last night, and I groaned. "Wait, what? It's Tamuz already?!" I've had a few things on my mind. Preparing my shul community to shift from all-digital to... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
This week I am reading up on cardiac catheterization. It sounds like sometimes they go in through the wrist, and sometimes at the groin. My wrists are tiny: I can't imagine that the blood vessel there is large enough to... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
In this week's parsha, Shlach, the scouts go to peek at the Land of Promise. They return with a giant bunch of grapes, so big it needs to be carried by two men on a carrying frame. And most of... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Velveteen Rabbi
This morning I moved the box of graggers back to the storage room. They've been out of place since Purim of 2020, the last in-person program we held at my synagogue before the pandemic began. I remember our Board chair... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
"Which arm do you prefer, hon?" "You're the phlebotomist; I'm just... the arm," I say, shrugging. I unfold both arms on the padded arm-rests and wait for her to choose. She fastens the tourniquet around my right bicep and palpates... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
When I was a kid the tree was impossibly enormous. It was like the giant Christmas tree that rose out of the stage, dwarfing everyone, in the local ballet's performance of the Nutcracker. But mine wasn't a Christmas tree. My... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
Only a fragment of the dream remains: a stranger yelling at me repeatedly, "But the science!" He meant, the pandemic is over, why aren't you over it. I don't think I was able to find the right words to respond.... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
When a person commits any wrong toward a fellow human being, thus breaking faith with YHVH, and that person realizes their guilt, that person must confess the wrong that he has done. They shall make restitution in the principal amount... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
Things that shouldn't exist in the same world: the scent of lilacs in bloom and the stench of the "skunk water" I read about on Facebook this morning. I sit on my mirpesset, surrounded by green: trees in leaf, willows... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
I try to make challah every Friday. While I knead the dough, I sing Shalom Aleichem to welcome the angels of Shabbat who will soon be here, and I pray the deepest prayers of my heart. This morning as I... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
If my mother were alive, she'd be asking me why I haven't written anything this week about Israel and Gaza and the West Bank. (Well, in fairness: she'd be asking why I haven't written about Israel. She didn't care about... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
This gorgeous illumination is by Joanne Fink; the poem is mine. As always, I'm humbled and honored to have midwifed this collection of new poetry, liturgy, and visual art into being -- and I know that my own poem is... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
Herbs in the rain. What replenishes you? The term "self-care" has come to feel almost meaningless: it's so ubiquitous, and so often misused. (A quick google search for the term yields returns like "How To Make Shopping A Healthy Self-Care... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
Dear Mom, When did you first start using your nebulizer? I think it was one of the first tools they provided when you were first diagnosed with bronchiectasis. Or maybe it was when you were diagnosed with the mycobacterial lung... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
Did we make it? What can I do about India? Will it get that bad here again? Are we safe? Can I trust new CDC guidance? If I see someone without a mask, can I assume they're vaccinated? (What if... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
I've had this kitchen tool for as long as I've had my own kitchen. I don't remember how it came to be mine. It belonged to my grandparents -- the only set of them that I knew, my mother's parents,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
Last year at the start of the pandemic, my hevruta partners and I studied a text from the Piaceczyner (the rabbi of the Warsaw Ghetto) about this week's Torah portion, Tazria-Metzora. His jumping-off point is a verse about houses contracting... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
When twigs swell and begin to bud and leaves emerge chartreuse and tender I'm proclaiming what I nurtured in secret silence through the long winter and sleep's cold blur. Golden light, I missed you so much it hurt. I answer... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
This morning the alarm went off at seven. I made breakfast for my sleepy kid, finished packing his lunchbox, reminded him to put things in his backpack. A few minutes after eight I drove him to school. All of this... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
A crisp sprig of Italian parsley dipped in salt water. Vibrant and green, salt giving way to savory as the stem crunches. It's the third step of the seder, karpas: greens representing spring and new life, salt water representing the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
I was humbled and honored to be invited to contribute an essay on allyship to this new daily Omer series... also soon to be a book, featuring a spectacular range of voices, which will become available on Wednesday / Trans... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
You never removed leaven. (Salt, sugar, and oil: sure, but that was different.) This year the work of finding every last crumb is daunting. I take respite in the seder prep I know you used to do, polishing the silver... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
Mom, I'm using the cocktail napkins you gave me when I moved out on my own, simple and grey with my single name in red, an echo of the ones you ordered when I married. They've been on a shelf... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
A slide from Bayit's Pesach offerings this year. Many of you have heard me say that on Shabbat HaGadol, the Shabbat before Pesach, it's customary for the rabbi to give a sermon about how to prepare for Pesach. Traditionally speaking,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi
As we approach our second Zoom Pesach, I'm sharing a set of slides that I created out of the Velveteen Rabbi's Haggadah for Pesach. The slides were made with google slides, and reflect what I've learned over the last year... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2021 at Velveteen Rabbi