Entries by Naomi

It’s Different When It’s One of Your Own

My minister colleague passed into the next world recently. I had only known her about six months, and yet, we had become quite close. The depth we’d reached in our relationship in such a short time was partly because of who she was and her beautiful neshama or soul.

The Ba’al Shem Tov and the Skunk

Why do both the World of Separation and the World of Unity exist? The Ba’al Shem Tov, Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, who lived in Poland in the 17th century and is attributed with founding the Hasidic movement of Judaism, teaches that both good and evil are parts of the unity. He explains, through the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, that the goodness of Israel’s redemption from slavery was only made possible by the evil of Pharaoh’s enslavement. This and This are both true. The question for us is: can we see the goodness in the evil? Can we discern the unity in the separation? Can we “find sweetness in the heart of the judgment” so as to “find the loving-kindness within”?