Tisha B’Av, the Ninth of Av, is a fast day commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as other catastrophes in the life of the Jewish people. We will usher in this day of reflection with a reading of selections from the book of Lamentations, and an exploration of the meanings of loss and exile on the communal as well as spiritual level. More » about Tisha B’Av Program
Dorshei Tzedek is a dynamic and growing Reconstructionist congregation in West Newton, Massachusetts. We are dedicated to Jewish learning and to ethical Jewish living in the modern world. Our Reconstructionist educational program is committed to making Judaism relevant and meaningful for children as well as adults.
Our community includes people from a wide variety of Jewish backgrounds, as well as interfaith families and people with little or no previous Jewish learning or experience. We embrace one another’s unique points of view. Our membership includes families, couples, and singles of all ages, Jews by birth and Jews by choice (or still choosing). We value and include everyone regardless of age, marital status, income level, or sexual orientation. More » about Who We Are
From the Keshet blog on MyJewishLearning.com, which begins with this introduction: As we celebrate the ten year anniversary of legal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, we’ve invited members of the community to share their reflections. Today’s post comes from Rabbi Toba Spitzer of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, a Reconstructionist rabbi who performed same-sex religious weddings before the verdict—but was finally able to legally marry Massachusetts same-sex couples 10 years ago.
I performed a number of weddings while still a rabbinical student, in the mid-1990s, as my friends began to make lifetime commitments and, being unaffiliated, turned to me—clergy in training!—to help them with their ceremonies. It was somewhat ironic that so many of my (straight) friends and acquaintances turned to me for this particular lifecycle event, as I had never been a huge fan of marriage. That may have been due to my own inklings as a kid that heterosexual white-wedding fantasies were not for me, or due to many years of being single and having to sit through other people’s weddings, or to my feminist and lesbian questioning of an institution that had historically been far from progressive. More » about By The Power Vested in Me By The Commonwealth of Massachusetts! : 10 Years of Marriage Equality in MA
Like anything else in Judaism, there is not any one official view. Historically speaking, Jewish communities generally thrived in Muslim societies, beginning with Babylonia in the seventh through ninth centuries, in Moorish Spain in the eighth through 14th centuries, and in the Ottoman Empire from the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and well into the 19th century. That doesn’t mean that these eras of co-existence were not marred by periodic intolerance and even violence, but overall it is safe to say that Jewish experiences in predominantly Muslim countries in the medieval period were a world apart from the overt anti-Semitism and persecution that Jews often faced in many parts of Christian Europe. Muslim culture over the centuries has influenced Jewish culture, from philosophy to poetry to cuisine. More » about What is a Jewish View of Islam?