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Evil and Hope: Thoughts on Yom HaShoah

05/07/2019 11:32:57 AM


Hannah Orden

This year Yom HaShoah affected me in a way that it has not in the past and I want to share a few snapshots from this week.

            Saturday – I turned on the television at the end of Shabbat and heard the news of another shooting at a synagogue.  This one hit me hard.  I spent a lot of time crying that night – crying for this broken world where people are...Read more...

Speaking and Listening from the Heart

04/26/2019 02:47:51 PM


Hannah Orden

Each year I try to find meaning in the Counting of the Omer - the 7 weeks between Passover and Shavuot. In the Torah there is no explanation given for why we count these days. Later, the Rabbis decided that Shavuot celebrates receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai.
This year,...


04/19/2019 01:59:04 PM


Hannah Orden

My mother was a city girl through and through — born and raised in Brooklyn — but every year she brought forsythia branches into our apartment and forced them to bloom indoors. When I see forsythia, I always think of her and the way she brought life and color and the hope of...Read more...

Two Seder Plates

04/12/2019 02:51:03 PM


Hannah Orden

Our 4th Annual Liberation Seder with Fountain Baptist Church was better than ever! An amazing opportunity to break down...Read more...

Weaving Community

03/08/2019 04:32:35 PM


Hannah Orden

I won’t say this week’s Torah portion is my favorite, but it does feature my favorite name for a Torah portion.  Va’yakhel is the verb form of the word kehillah, which means “community.”  I love that Hebrew has a verb for making community.


In an op-ed, David Brooks talks about social isolation as the core...Read more...

Blessing Magnificence Where You Find It

03/04/2019 12:11:29 PM


Hannah Orden


Jewish tradition has a blessing for almost everything from waking in the morning to seeing a rainbow. The idea is to maintain a constant awareness of gratitude and wonder. But there isn’t much snow in the Mideast, so I made up my own blessing when I woke this morning and...Read more...

01/18/2019 01:48:53 PM


Light and Joy

12/20/2018 03:47:56 PM


Hannah Orden

Hanukkah is over but it is still bringing us light and joy. These cards were made for my congregation by children at Christ Church in Summit. With recent anti-Semitic incidents, they wanted us to know they care. The relationships we build and human connections we create strengthen all of us.


Tohu va Vohu

09/23/2018 02:44:10 PM


Hannah Orden

On Yom Kippur I shared the delightful surprise that the Hebrew phrase tohu va vohu has entered the German language. The words are from the very beginning of the Torah when it says that the world was unformed and void. The phrase is used in Austria, Bavaria, and Switzerland to mean a "disorderly mess." There was even a TV show that ran for 8 years in Austria called Tohu Va Vohu! At Break-the-Fast after services, many people asked me what...Read more...

Cut From the Same Cloth (Kavanah for Amidah, Rosh Hashanah)

09/21/2018 08:24:06 PM


Hannah Orden

When my mother was dying, she asked me to write down parts of the story of her life. One of the things she told me was that when I was born, the youngest of her three children, she thought: "Finally, a child cut from the same cloth." My brother got a lot of mileage out of teasing me about it. I'm not sure my sister was quite so amused. And Bella, who is a teenager at the time, wanted to know if she was also “cut from the same...Read more...

Wed, July 15 2020 23 Tammuz 5780