Three Steps to an Effective Apology

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How did you learn to apologize? We all know the words “I’m sorry”, but were you ever taught how to effectively apologize to another person?

A typical marital argument can get heightened by inauthentic apologies, “I’m sorry you overreacted,” or “I’m sorry you think that,” or “I’m sorry your mother is insane” are not apologies. You can’t just slap an “I’m sorry” label on an insult or accusation and call it an apology. That will inflame the situation, leading to more arguing and distance.

Here’s the good news: it’s relatively simple to give an authentic apology. There are three key steps, and if you’re able to follow the recipe, you will be able to give an apology that not only feels good for the recipient; it will feel good to you.

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Mesh Cafe Sept 12, 2017

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From Captain Stuart Green:

It was a gala opening night of the 2017-18 MESH Cafe season at Shomrei. Sixteen guests joined us for dinner.

Chef Rachel Kanter prepared a sumptuous meal of roasted and marinated salmon fillets, orzo with pesto sauce, green salad, and cookies and fresh fruit. All this was prefaced by hearty lentil/barley/vegetable soup which had been frozen and repurposed from IHN. There was plenty of food for seconds and take-homes. Continue reading

Yesterday and Today

September 11, 2001 is a date that Americans will never forget.

rafle 1942September 11, 1942 is a date that Jews in the north of France will never forget. On that date seventy-five years ago the rafle – or mass round-up – of the area’s Jews took place. Although part of France, the German occupation assigned the administration of Nord-Pas-de-Calais to Brussels.

At 4:00 a.m. on September 11, Jews, primarily those who were stateless or refugees, were rounded up, sent to a detention area in Mechelen (known as the Belgium Drancy), and then on to the deportation station in Lille, France. Continue reading

Dreamers: Parashat Ki Tavo

The mayor of Seattle poses with young people eligible for work and education authorizations through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.

The mayor of Seattle poses with young people eligible for work and education authorizations through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.

Parashat Ki Tavo
Deuteronomy 26:1 – 29:8

Our Torah portion expands upon the choice facing the Jewish people as they enter the Promised Land, a land of opportunity and challenge. There is so much good promised to the people, but there is also a great risk. Will we be loyal to our Creator and grateful for all our divinely bestowed gifts? Or will we ignore those gifts and forsake our God? As in his previous remarks, Moses couches the choice in terms of blessings and curses. Continue reading

@nourish, Shabbat Speaker Series, Fall Line-Up

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Here is our fall line-up of speakers for @nourish. Please join me for what will be an interesting series.  @nourish (“at nourish”) is Shomrei’s Shabbat seminar/discussion/activity series for adults presented by Shomrei JLC (Jewish Learning Center). Occurring monthly @nourish will bring varied and interesting speakers or activity leaders to Shomrei to engage our brains, bodies and being.

@nourish is free and open to the public.

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Bordeaux, City of History and Food

IMG_0976Bordeaux is famous for its red wine; canelés, a unique rum and vanilla flavored custard-like pastry with a caramelized crust; cepes, also called porcini, mushrooms; shopping; a vibrant red color and its large number of historic buildings among other things. In fact, Bordeaux has the largest number of preserved buildings of any city in France. It has also been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set along a river as are most great cities, Bordeaux draws on the river, the ocean, and the countryside to define itself.

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A Blessing for the Year

This month is full of special, holy, awesome days. Instead of writing a column this month, I would simply like to share with you my translation of the following blessing, a part of the daily Amidah prayer as formulated in the version recited by Oriental Jewish communities. (Our prayerbook at Shomrei follows a different version, the European formula.) I hope that you will find it meaningful.

Shanah Tovah U-M’tuqah! A Sweet and Good Year to All!
Rabbi David Greenstein

dew photoBlessing for the Year
(from the Oriental Jewish Rite)

Eternal One,
Our Source of Strength!

Give this year to us in blessing,
so that all it produces will be for the Good.

Grant dew and rain for abundance
upon the surface of the entire Earth;

Saturate the whole world
so that it feels full from Your Goodness. Continue reading

Not the Final Goal: Parashat Ki Tetze

Lebanese women dressed in bloody bridal gowns protest law that allows rapists to avoid prosecution if they marry their victims. AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

Lebanese women dressed in bloody bridal gowns protest law that allows rapists to avoid prosecution if they marry their victims. AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

Parashat Ki Tetze
Deuteronomy 21:10 – 25:19

Our Torah portion contains many commandments, including quite a few that teach radical lessons for living a life of compassion and righteousness. But there are other examples of laws that strain our ability to see them as humane!

One such objectionable law is the command that a rapist must marry his victim. Furthermore, after paying a fine to the father of the woman he has attacked, his marriage is to be permanent – “he shall not be able to send her away (- divorce her) all his days.” (Deut. 22:29) In defense of this law, the reasoning behind it has been explained as deriving from a concern for the victim. A woman who had been raped, according to this explanation, would be treated as an outcast by her society in Biblical times. Her family would reject her from shame and outrage. So the rapist is forced to give her a home and must do so permanently. Continue reading