Author Archives: Gail F. Nalven

About Gail F. Nalven

Jewish Educator, Rabbi, Tefillah Leader, Songleader, Teacher, and Freelance Jew

Celebrating Freedom

The Gay Pride March in NYC always takes place on the last Sunday in June. This year it fell on June 30th, the last day of the month. As the world came together to recall the changes in the last … Continue reading

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ON BEING AN AMERICAN: WHEN HATE SPEECH HITS HOME

As I write this, it is the midterm elections in the United States. Nothing is more American than voting and I see myself as a patriotic American. I have voted in every election since I turned 18. My first election, … Continue reading

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I’M ANGRY

I’m angry. I am so angry. And I’ve had it. Shabbat is one of my favorite times of the week. Sometimes, I am teaching or leading some sort of service. Sometimes, as today, I can have a leisurely day. Avoiding … Continue reading

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Eliza, Coming Out of Mitzrayim

There is nothing like good art. Art that makes you think. Art that has nine lives. Last week we saw the new production of My Fair Lady at the Lincoln Center Theater, here in NYC. It was wonderful. This story … Continue reading

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The Year of Repairing Gail: My Adventures in Healthcare

When I was young, my parents were not big on attending doctors. We went for our annual exams for school, but they didn’t run for every ache and fever. Take an aspirin and go to school was their philosophy. While … Continue reading

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My Grandmother’s Bilkalach

One of my warmest childhood memories is of the time that I spent at my grandmother’s house in The Bronx. On Sundays, after Hebrew school, we gathered with aunts, uncles, and cousins for all sorts of special foods, lively conversation, … Continue reading

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Blogging the Torah: Parashat Chayei Sarah, Matriarchs Galore

  Thanksgiving weekend seemed an appropriate time to think about the matriarchs in our lives. First, there were the matriarchs at many of our Thanksgiving tables. At mine their were two, my mother and my brother’s mother-in-law. Then there is … Continue reading

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Blogging the Torah: Parashat Vayeira, Ishmael, Isaac, and the Rabbi’s Bathroom

A few weeks ago a pipe burst in the ceiling above our tub. The building quickly repaired it and covered it up for a few weeks. When it came time to make sure that the pipe was holding, we decided … Continue reading

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Blogging the Torah: Parashat Noach, From Shelach to Lecha

This weekend I was in my happy place, singing with 75 of my closest friends at an annual program called Shabbat Shira held in the woods of Wisconsin. Held at the URJ’s camp Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute, this is … Continue reading

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IN MITZRAYIM: ON THE BANKS OF DENIAL

On the rare occasion that my spouse and I encounter someone who just doesn’t get it, whatever “it” is, we might say to each other, they’re in Mitzrayim, the biblical word for Egypt. We don’t even need to use the … Continue reading

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