Has Anyone Seen My Kavanah?


Okay, here’s the thing: while I typically possess the organizational skills of an ant with OCD, over this past year my every attempt at organization has been confounded. I believe that this is due, in large part, to my lifestyle becoming increasingly nomadic; and my resistance to this. In an effort to both conserve space […]

Parshah Beshalach: Mi Chamocha


As my voice rises with that of the cantor, I tell myself my enthusiasm more than makes up for my staggering lack of singing ability. Shul is the only public place where I will bust out song with abandon, disregarding the sidelong glances thrown my way. I am unabashedly loud, and also happiest, when worshipping […]

YouTube Video Siddur: Coming Soon? Coming Never?


Several years ago, a few of us here at PunkTorah bounced around the idea of a video siddur. Jeremiah, aka @circlepitbimah, was one of them. The idea is pretty simple: a series of YouTube videos that played each portion of a siddur. Instead of opening a book, you would pop a DVD in (or go to a […]

YouTube Is My Siddur (or, Why I Can’t Stand Prayer Books)


By Rabbi Patrick For many years, I have struggled to find a siddur that reflects the poetry of my life. I have trouble finding a book that speaks with honesty about human life, about Jewish life, and at the same time understands that humanity is not a species that lives in the literal, but lives […]

A Prayer For NOT Healing (or How To Thank God For Refusing To Cure You)


I’ve been sick for about a month now. With an MRI next week, assuming everything looks good, then I’ll make a full recovery. But what if I don’t? What if God does not heal me? A lot has been written about this in Jewish history: an attempt to understand why bad things happen, and what God’s […]

Kavanah vs. Keva In Jewish Prayer


Kavanah. If you’re Jewish, you’ve probably heard the word thrown around by your Rabbi, or perhaps by a friend. Perhaps you use it yourself on a regular basis. For me, it’s a biggie. Loosely translated as “intention,” and related to the word kivun meaning “direction,” living life with kavanah is an ideal I strive towards […]