Nov. 20, 2020

Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl on Deuteronomy 29:9-11– “Who We Are as a People” - S1E98


Mark is delighted to welcome Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl to the podcast today. Rabbi Buchdahl is the first woman to serve as the Senior Rabbi of Central Synagogue in New York City in its 180-year history, and she is also the first Asian American to be ordained as cantor or rabbi in North America. Having been nationally recognized for her innovations in leading worship, which draw large crowds both in the congregation’s historic Main Sanctuary and via live stream and cable broadcast to viewers in more than 100 countries, Rabbi Buchdahl is, Mark believes, the great role model of what the future of institutional Reform Judaism can be. The passage she has chosen to discuss with Mark is Deuteronomy 29:9-11. Rabbi Buchdahl begins by sharing her summary of the passage and its significance for her based upon the message of inclusion that she finds within it. She and Mark then explore the foundation of Jewish identity, the accessibility of the Torah and how to teach it, and the most important of the Jewish holidays. They also discuss the power of truly understanding the experience of the stranger, the Rabbi’s bowling alley analogy regarding parenting, and the collective redemption and order found in the Jewish faith. As is the tradition, the episode concludes with the lessons our guest has learned about humankind. As Mark notes, Rabbi Buchdahl is ‘leading American Jewry to a better, better place’, and this truth is brilliantly displayed here today as she reveals so many lessons from this relatively short but incredibly powerful passage for us all to learn and enjoy. Episode Highlights: · Rabbi Buchdahl’s summary of the passage and its significance to her · The message of inclusion within the passage · The foundation of the Jewish identity · The Torah’s accessibility for all · How to teach Torah · Rabbi Buchdahl’s advice about keeping holidays · Understanding being a stranger in a strange land · The Rabbi’s bowling alley analogy regarding parenting · Collective redemption and order · The lessons about humankind that Rabbi Buchdahl has learned  Quotes: “I spent a lot of my Jewish life feeling like I wasn’t sure that I also was really standing in Sinai like everybody else.” “Everyone brings what they have.” “If you convert to Judaism, you were at Sinai also.” “This sense of inclusion is very powerful.” “This to me is a statement of who we are as a people.” “If you want to commit to this covenant, you’re a part of our people.” “This Torah is for you. It’s for you today.” “Oftentimes, the adults learn through the children.” “There is something very deep about how you own your identity and you own your knowledge when you pass it on.” “If you actually carry that Jewish memory, like, as if it’s your memory, you cannot walk through the world in the same way.” “We taste our tears.” “We’re all born good and pure…there’s the promise that we can return to that original goodness.” “There’s no way that you can emerge from that crucible, in a sense, without being a changed person if you take Yom Kippur seriously.” “What you’re doing is what they’re going to learn.” “Every person is infinitely more powerful than they think they are.” “Every human has the capacity to change.” “The power of one person.”  Deuteronomy 29:9-11 You stand this day, all of you, before the LORD your God—your tribal heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Israel, your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to water drawer— to enter into the covenant of the LORD your God, which the LORD your God is concluding with you this day, with its sanctions; https://www.sefaria.org/Deuteronomy.29.9-11?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en  Links: The Rabbi’s Husband homepage: http://therabbishusband.com/ Mark’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/markgerson?lang=en The Rabbi’s Husband Newsletter contact: daniel@therabbishusband.com

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