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    Rabbi Rick's Reading List

    Rabbi Rick's Music List

    • Dan Nichols & e18teen: My Heart is in the East
      I was looking for some music to get me into the proper mood for Yom Kippur. I chose this one because the song Or Zarua appears at the beginning of the Erev Yom Kippur service, and then the following song, Kehilla Kedosha quotes the Torah portion from the next morning's service. The album is soulful and ethereal and perfect for my High Holyday preparation. Thanks Dan!
    • Rabbi Joe Black: Aleph Bet Boogie
      This is good music for kids. The kind of music that adult can enjoy listening to with their kids and not being reduced to infantile babbling.
    • Rabbi Joe Black: Sabbatical
      Rabbi Black is a talented musician and thoughtful songwriter and we're blessed to have him come and play in our sukkah this year!
    • Julie Silver: It's Chanukah Time
      Julie is one of my absolute favorite Jewish artists. Her voice is beautiful and sweet. She is a talented musician who writes consistently pleasant music. This album is a must in your Chanukah music collection!
    • Matisyahu -

      Matisyahu: Youth
      The latest by reggae/rap artist Matisyahu. If you're into reggae or rap you should check this out. It's certainly unique.

    • Mah Tovu: Only This
      One of my favorite Jewish albums
    • The LeeVees -

      The LeeVees: Hanukkah Rocks
      The most fun Chanukah album I've listed to in a long time.

    • Matisyahu -

      Matisyahu: Live at Stubb's
      A combination of Reggae and Hip Hop from a practitioner of Chabad Judaism - need I say more!

    • Beignet Yisrael - Shehecheyanu

      Beignet Yisrael: Four Jewish Doughnuts in New Orleans

      A fun group of two cantors, a cantorial soloist and a rabbi from New Orleans. I hope there will be good reasons to sing Shehecheyanu in New Orleans soon.

    • Preservation Hall Jazz Band - When the Saints Go Marchin' In

      When the Saints Go Marchin' In
      Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Best of

      On the wall in Preservation Hall is a sign that gives the cost of requests: $1 for Traditional songs, $2 for others and $5 for 'Saints.' Not because it's a bad song, quite the opposite. It's the most requested, classic Dixieland piece. I hope the sign is still there right now.

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    Martha Jensen

    "If these women were disagreeing with religious dictum I might suggest they do so in a less confrontational matter"

    I understand this to mean "manner", but what would that be? If the issue is public wearing of talis and prayer, protest would have to be public and the more public the better.

    We (those of us in the slightly wilted floer child era) did not march for civil rights quietly; protests against Viet Nam were not held in secret.

    I understand things are different in Israel, but more power to them. Next time there are likely to be a lot more than two!

    Rabbi Rick

    Many commented on the original article about the respect for religious law. For instance, it would be inappropriate for me to walk into a mosque with shoes on. I do my best to respect the laws of religious communities.
    If Halachah said that a woman must not wear a tallit and the Western Wall were a site only for Orthodox, I might suggest demonstrating nearby or negotiating with the authorities without showing disrespect for their authority. (Though I might be convinced otherwise given a particular situation.)
    In the case of a woman wearing a tallit, there is nothing in Jewish law that forbids it, and while Orthodox authorities have dominion over the Western Wall complex, the site is intended for all.
    There is no good reason for the rabbis there to prevent women from wearing a tallit, and the continued belligerence from the traditionalists only pushes people away from traditional Judaism.

    Paul Kipnes

    Okay, I'm disturbed. Among the most important contributions of the Reform Movement to Judaism, was/is its rebalancing the gender roles within our religion/people. We brought women out from behind the mechitza and onto the bimah. Judaism thrives because of this.

    Innovation? No, reclamation of what was and should be.

    Thank you for bringing this back to my attention.


    This is why I cannot feel anything holy about the Wall--it is a place that should belong to the whole Jewish community, but has been hijacked by a few.
    There are two very different issues here:
    First, what is done? That is, what is the meaning of women wearing tallitot? Leaving halacha aside and simply looking at minhag, the question of who wears a tallit (men, women, no one at all) and what kind of tallit (silk-painted or simple black stripes; bed-sheet sized or scarf) is political--even when it seems to be an individual decision. That is, even when I choose to wear a tallit, I am making a statement about my values. So discussing what values and how they play out through the use of tallit is one question.
    The other is who owns the Wall. It is not wearing a tallit in Israel, per se, but wearing it at the wall itself--at the religious site--that is the problem. And leads to the whole issue of who is in charge of the Wall. In 1967, there was no fence at the wall--that is, men and women were not separated. So the levels of control and separation have grown over time--women's minyanim and tallitot are only part of the whole problem. And as far as I'm concerned, that particular group of Orthodox have treyfed the Wall just as thoroughly as did the Syrians in days of old.

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