From Kehilla Synagogue, Chapel Hill, NC, March 2018
Rabbi Orenstein was an amazing and insightful teacher who really brought a new perspective on traditional ideas from explaining how holiness can come from both separation and unity and the Torah leining mixed with interpretive translation! ~ Jillian Breithaupt
What a wonderful expression of the meaning 'may their memory be a blessing. ~ Lew Margolis
It was a pleasure to work with Rabbi Orenstein while planning our Scholar-in-Residence program. She actively listened to my thoughts and ideas to ensure that her presentations/teachings would resonate with our community. Rabbi Orenstein truly hit the mark as our community is still talking about her teachings! Her depth and breadth of knowledge along with her passion for Judaism and social justice were clearly evident in all that she did. Please consider bringing her to your community! ~ Sherri Morris, Education Director, Kehillah Synagogue
Our annual High Holiday seminar with Rabbi Orenstein was an outstanding experience for everyone who participated. Her ability to bring wisdom, insight, new ideas, ways of approaching the text, and meaningful substance were appreciated by every member in attendance. Within a day we started to receive requests from colleagues looking for the promised written material! We all benefited from having Debra with us, as did, without question, all of our congregations and communities who in turn benefited from the outstanding presentation.
-Rabbi Howard L. Jaffe, President, Massachusetts Board of Rabbis
On behalf of Rodef Shalom Temple congregation members in attendance at Newport News JCC [ last weekend], we would like to personally thank you for your very timely and inspirational visit. As a New Yorker I was especially treated by your vision for the Jewish people.
-Theodore Sandler, Newport News, VA
I have been receiving your emails and greatly appreciate them . . . One of your [CD's] presenting the history of [kippot] ( "Head Coverings" from Awe Always) I am using in my Rosh Chodesh programs - playing your [CD] and making Kippas afterwards. We did this a few years ago and the program then was a huge success - so now I am adding your CD tape to [the program] and expect to have a wonderful crowd. Thank You
- Laura Grau, Las Vegas, NV
I'm so glad I took time to read the E-Newsletter; it was great. Synchronistically, friends from Berkeley were talking about Rabbi Lew last night at dinner. Craig's information about your grandfather --fascinating. Good luck with your "pregnancy." Jonathan and I wish you a healthy, prosperous and sweet year!
- Rosanne Keynan, Los Angeles
Debra brings the Torah to life! She's not only a great scholar; she helps her congregation learn about Judaism in new and unique ways. She's thoughtful and sensitive to the needs of her congregation and is extremely welcoming to all. She is a fantastic talent, making the old Texts relevant for today. I find her to be a wonderful and dedicated teacher and leader.
- Neisha Cohen, Los Angeles
Rabbi Debra's teachings have always given both inspiration and clarity to the matters of the soul and spirituality. To be able to [listen to] her wisdom and turn to it whenever you need a spiritual boost is a great blessing in these troubled times.
-- Beverly Magid, Los Angeles
Thank you so much for the truly wonderful and deep Hanukah meditations! My family used them the last two nights and plan to continue for the whole eight days. They make the holiday so much more meaningful.
--Dinah Berland, Los Angeles, editor of Hours of Devotion: Fanny Neuda's Book of Prayers for Jewish Women.
DO NOT RUN
Inspired by Track 12 of Transformation Now
by Sarah Alonim Barash
A.F.V. (Los Angeles)
Dedicated to Rabbi Debra Orenstein for her Wisdom
If we have the wherewithal to wait, what we need can come to us,
Catch up to us as we pause in silence
To allow the stillness to overcome all expectations of what might be,
For God knows that as we rush through our days,
We may miss the elemental truths contained in the daily-ness of life.
Patience is not something we are granted to pursue in idle moments,
But a gift that allows us to see and experience what already exists.
We must always Dream, as Hope is the mainspring of Faith and Love,
But we must remember that to strive blindly forward,
Towards that which lies just beyond us,
Is to miss the Magical and Mystical,
That surrounds and infuses our days.
Past the small child alive in all of us,
Whose eyes beg for a moment’s recognition.
Past the time for reflection,
The very essence of a life well lived.
And please, Please,
We must not run,
Past the transcendent moments,
Where Love waits always with breath unrestrained,
Yearning for words couched in kindness.
- - - - - - -
In a world where all is temporal,
The stillness and patience we practice,
Will return a full measure of Grace,
As we come to delight in the sum of our days.
Thank you for your comments!