“What does it mean to be a Jew?” is a question that spans time and place. “What does it mean to be Jewish?” is its cousin. “Who is a Jew?” a not so distant relative. For many of us, these questions shape our understanding and exploration of who we are as individuals, what it means to be human, and what it means to be part of the world we live in. Who we are as people and as Jews are not distinct or separable, they are deeply intertwined experiences.
Perhaps you, like me, believe that Judaism and Jewish tradition can provide a valuable lens through which to try and understand these questions, maybe even to answer them. Perhaps you’ve also found that they can provide a container for forming deep relationships with other people and the divine (if you believe in the divine and/or think these are separate ideas). Perhaps you hear within them a call to contribute positively to the world. If any of that sounds like you or an idea that you’d like to explore, I hope you will join me on this journey with Beyn Kodesh l'Chol.
Beyn Kodesh l'Chol is a community in formation for Jews (and Jewish-adjacent folks). Join us for in-person events, explore our blog and articles, find time for a one-on-one conversation, engage with Jewish rituals, and find a way to connect to each other and the Jewish tradition.
Beyn Kodesh l’Chol is an invitation to co-create a space to deepen the intersections of our Judaism and our humanity, of holiness and everyday living, of our identities. Jewish community comes together often: for ritual, for learning, and for action. We will come together in conversation first, allowing the act of speaking face to face to guide us. Together we will explore the ways we are connected to each other and the Jewish tradition in an explicitly LGBTQ embracing, anti-racist Jewish space that seeks to center the voices of those on the margins.
My teacher, Rabbi Art Green, considers himself a seeker and calls his students who have become rabbis to be seekers. To be a seeker is to acknowledge the primacy of the question and the journey over the result. To be a seeker relies on cultivating an ethic of curiosity and an openness to following things where they may lead. It requires the kind of deep trust that comes over time. On the deepest level, seeking is an act of transformation.
This week, we read Parshat Shmot the first Torah portion in the book of Exodus. A first step towards liberation. Writing on Parshat Shmot, my teacher, Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld shares that “the work of transformation—the work of redemption—cannot be done alone. It requires extraordinary partnerships—between individuals, between generations, between nations, between those with privilege and those without, between heaven and earth.”
We live in the between spaces that Rabbi Anisfeld names and so many others. This is where we will begin and I would be honored if you would join us.