Jewish teachings on resilience

About the show

Hashivenu is a podcast about Jewish teachings and practice around resilience. Cultivating resilience in challenging times, both individually and collectively, is an essential path to personal renewal.

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This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at ReconstructingJudaism.org

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  • S3 Ep. 9: The Power of Ritual

    June 25th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  42 mins 38 secs

    Is Harry Potter a sacred text? According to our guest, Casper ter Kuile, Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School and the co-founder of the Sacred Design Lab, it is if you bring that approach to the series. His study of the ways in which people find meaning through text, community, and tradition has opened up vibrant conversations that break down the walls of "religious" and "secular" by illuminating the human experiences that unite them. In his new book, The Power of Ritual, he explores the ways that ritual -- even when nominally secular -- can help us build community, find meaning, and connect our past with our future. This conversation was recorded in late March of 2020.

  • S3 Ep. 8: Whole-Body Judaism

    May 21st, 2020  |  Season 3  |  31 mins 24 secs

    Yoshi Silverstein’s passions — which include Jewish outdoor and environmental education, as well as fitness and movement — each strive toward creative embodied Jewish practice. We explore how these approaches can contribute to a resilient Jewish community, and conclude by applying them to the upcoming holiday of Shavuot: how might they help us experience revelation and gratitude in the midst of an uncertain future?

  • S3 Ep. 7: Including Everyone

    April 21st, 2020  |  Season 3  |  37 mins 54 secs

    It's a fundamental Jewish belief that all human beings are created in the divine image. But society all too often treats those with disabilities as second-class citizens. In our conversation with Jay Ruderman, we discuss his family foundation's work to advocate for and advance the inclusion of people with disabilities, both within the Jewish community and in society at large. We also delve into the dangers posed by the current pandemic to those with disabilities, as well as the opportunities this moment offers to affirm our deepest values by treating every person with concern and care.

  • S3 Ep. 6: Spiritual Leadership in Times of Crisis

    April 2nd, 2020  |  Season 3  |  37 mins 20 secs

    As the coronavirus pandemic took hold, Rabbi Joshua Lesser created a Facebook group to support and connect clergy of all faiths struggling to respond to the crisis. Over five thousand people joined within the first two weeks. We discuss the exponential growth of the multifaith community he created and reflect on both the practical challenges and interior dimensions of spiritual leadership in times like these. Rabbi Lesser also explores the lessons he learned about community and vulnerability as an out gay rabbi during the height of the AIDS crisis, and how that experience informs his work now.

  • S3 Ep. 5: Catching Our Breath

    March 24th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  20 mins 46 secs

    As the current pandemic disrupts our lives and everyday connections, we each face the dual challenge of saving lives and caring for our souls. Rabbi Deborah Waxman reflects on the Jewish spiritual imagery that unites these concerns and shares a practice of breath work that can sustain us in stressful times.

  • S3 Ep. 4: Despair to Awakening

    March 20th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  36 mins 46 secs

    As our lives are disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we speak with Dr. Ameet Ravital, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating trauma. We reflect on personal experiences of anxiety and grief, and discuss strategies he uses to support an orientation toward joy even in the hardest times. Our conversation draws on his beautiful essay, "Despair to Awakening", free to read at Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations.

  • S3 Ep. 3: The Song of Community

    February 3rd, 2020  |  Season 3  |  28 mins 57 secs

    We speak with Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, Rabbi of the SAJ: Judaism That Stands For All. Our conversation explores the importance of placing joy and connection at the center of vibrant Jewish community, even (or especially) one deeply committed to social justice and activism. We also discuss the lessons learned from building a start-up congregation, and how they translate into her work at a 98-year-old flagship Reconstructionist synagogue.

  • S3 Ep. 2: Living in Beloved Community

    January 9th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  29 mins 59 secs

    We speak with Rabbi Sara Luria, co-founder of Beloved, a home-based spiritual community in Brooklyn. Our conversation explores the power of putting love, nurturing and acceptance at the center of community life. We also explore what Beloved Brooklyn can teach the broader Jewish communal world, and reflect on new models of leadership opened up by forty years of women in the American rabbinate.

  • S3 Ep. 1: Finding Sustenance in Covenantal Community

    December 10th, 2019  |  Season 3  |  29 mins 58 secs

    Rabbi Sid Schwarz has devoted his career to the practice and study of building rich and engaging Jewish communities. In our conversation, we talk about the groundbreaking congregation he built, Adat Shalom, which continues to serve as a laboratory for innovation to this day. And we ask the question: as new platforms for Jewish life and community emerge in the 21st century, what values and practices make a community truly sustaining and meaningful?

  • Season 3 Intro: Resilience Through Community

    December 9th, 2019  |  Season 3  |  6 mins 46 secs

    In this upcoming season of Hashivenu, we’re going to talk to a lot of people who are thinking about and practicing how to create community. Many of them will be talking about synagogues, since that is a primary location of Jewish community, but this isn’t a pitch for synagogues. It’s a pitch for binding relationships, for mutual obligation, for connection, so we’ll also be talking to folks building communities in spaces other than synagogues. I hope you’ll listen with open hearts and will find insights and strategies to fill you up and nourish you on your own journeys.

  • S2 Ep. 8: Halleluyah: Fueling Our Social Activism through Gratitude and Praise

    November 7th, 2019  |  Season 2  |  24 mins 29 secs

    What drives us toward justice? Often, we're driven by a sense of the world's brokenness that keeps us up at night. In our conversation with Rabbi Alex Weissman, we explore an alternative motivation: what gets us up in the morning? In a conversation based on his essay for Evolve, Halleluyah, and his other work around spirituality and activism, we discuss how deeply-felt experiences of gratitude and blessing can move us toward empathetic action.

  • S2 Ep. 7: Discernment and Renewal at the High Holidays

    September 20th, 2019  |  Season 2  |  24 mins 52 secs

    The holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur call us to deeply individual reflection while embedded and connected with community, and to a humility that nevertheless acknowledges that our choices matter. We speak with Rabbi Barbara Penzner about the spiritual dynamics of the High Holiday days, and their power to help us find discernment, connection and renewal.

  • S2 Ep. 6: Portraits of Resilience

    September 11th, 2019  |  Season 2  |  29 mins 53 secs

    Daniel Jackson is an MIT professor and award-winning photographer who edited an extraordinary collection: Portraits of Resilience pairs images and first-person accounts of MIT community members who have struggled with mental health issues. We dig deeply into Judaism's powerful psychological and spiritual resources for resilience, particularly for those grappling with the isolation and shame that can come with depression.

  • S2 Ep. 5: Raising Our Voices

    August 2nd, 2019  |  Season 2  |  29 mins 57 secs

    Dr. Koach Frazier is an audiologist, an activist, a rabbinical student and a powerful musician. We speak about singing and drumming, and explore how music can support us, uplift us, and lead us to transformation personally and collectively.

  • S2 Ep. 4: The Spiritual Activist

    July 1st, 2019  |  Season 2  |  30 mins 53 secs

    Claudia Horwitz's life's work has focused on integrating spiritual practice with the work of social change. In this conversation, she shares the strains that social justice work can inflict on activists, and articulates the importance of deep inner work in anchoring and sustaining individuals and groups in their work of tikkun olam.

  • S2 Ep. 3: Changing the World from the Inside Out

    June 11th, 2019  |  Season 2  |  32 mins 18 secs

    This compelling conversation with Rabbi David Jaffe explores the essential relationship between the pursuit of justice and the spiritual growth that comes from self-knowledge. We discuss his personal experiences of moral and spiritual awakening, as well as the tension between experiencing the brokenness of the world and opening ourselves to the unity of all creation.