Author Archives: Gail F. Nalven

About Gail F. Nalven

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

WHO REALLY MATTERS?

I have a confession. I was one of those people. When I first heard “Black Lives Matter” I thought, what do you mean? All lives matter. Unlike some of our former elected officials, I kept my mouth shut until I … Continue reading

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You Are My People. Really!

I’m angry. I’ve been angry for weeks now and just when I think I am getting over my anger, something else makes me even more angry. I realized that it has darkened my joy and seeped into surprising places. It … Continue reading

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Dayenu: When Is It Enough

Sitting at a friend’s seder table, full and content and a bit bleary-eyed, I was awakened by this lovely sermon that was to be given the next morning. Welcome, guest blogger Rabbi Rosalie M. Osian. Thanks for sharing your words. … Continue reading

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Blogging the Torah: Parashat Shemot, What Happened?

It seems almost appropriate that this week’s Torah portion is read on the cusp of a new year as it represents a transitional time for the Israelite people. We have just ended the book of Bereshit (Genesis). The Israelites have … Continue reading

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“The Other” Is You

In preparation for the new season of Downton Abbey, PBS ran a behind-the-scenes show the other night. I was struck by their insistence on propriety. Clothing, posture, and manners must adhere to the period. (Although, we have caught a few … Continue reading

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Blogging the Torah: Parashat Miketz, On Terror and Grain

This has been a difficult Chanukah for this world.  As we light our candles in the darkest time of the year, we struggle to find a way to overcome the darkness of this world with the light of goodness.  In … Continue reading

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No Turkey For You

Next week, Americans will celebrate the most Jewish of our American holidays: Thanksgiving. Each day in our Amidah, we say the words  “Moadim Anachu Lach, we are thankful to you God” for the miracles of each day and God’s wondrous … Continue reading

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Shabbat Nachamu: If Only

This Shabbat is Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of consolation. We, as a Jewish people, are supposed to be so bereft by the loss of the Temple in Jerusalem that even these many years later we need to be consoled. Unfortunately, … Continue reading

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Who Is Chosen?

I remember reading The Chosen  as a teen and I was hooked. I then went on to The Promise, the sequel and pretty much every other book by Chaim Potok.  But The Chosen was the best.  I was thoroughly engaged … Continue reading

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Blogging the Torah, Parashat Balak: Blessings, Not Curses. Really!

This week’s parasha literally features an ass. While in this case it means a donkey, it’s an apt word to describe much of what I’ve seen in the media over the last few days, but I digress. In this week’s … Continue reading

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