Teshuvah & Forgiveness

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A small gift to help sustain you though a meaningful fast this Yom Kippur – In this episode of our podcast Becoming Jewishly Sensible, Rabbi Lee Moore interviews writer Susan Terkel in a conversation that digs into teshuvah and forgiveness.

Susan Terkel is the author of numerous books about medical and social issues, including Feeling Safe, Feeling Strong (one of the earliest books about child sexual abuse) and Finding Your Way, a book that explains ethics for teens. Her book People Power was on the American Bookseller Association’s “Pick of the List,” and Ethics was selected as Hungry Mind Review’s “Editor’s Choice,” and recommended reading by Parents Magazine. Colonial American Medicine was selected for Science Books and Film’s “Best Children’s Books” list. She has written two books about drug policy: the first earned starred reviews; the second was selected for the American Library Association’s “100 Books a College-Bound Student Should Read.” Recently, she coauthored Small Change, selected a finalist for Books for a Better Life Award, and featured in USA Today.
Ms. Terkel is a graduate of Cornell University, where she studied Child Development and Family Relationships. She also studied Social Work at Case Western Reserve University. In addition to writing, she is an artist, wife, mother, grandmother and schmoozer.

Teaching Torah through Brokenness

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Guest post by Rabbi Paul Steinberg

The following was originally published June 9, 2015 by eJewishPhilanthropy.  Many thanks to Dan Brown and Rabbi Paul Steinberg for allowing us to repost on this blog.  In his reflections on the work of Beit T’shuvah, Rabbi Steinberg offers depth and personal insight to two Jewish Sensibilities – Shevirah and Teshuvah.

In 1972, during the television program Eternal Light, Abraham Joshua Heschel vigorously exhorted: “Here stands a man and I’ll tell you, this is a man who has no problems. Do you know why? He’s an idiot!” So it is: to be a mindful human is to have problems. Certainly, these problems include those of the world: injustice, corruption, poverty, warfare, hunger, and on and on. As Jewish mystics identified long ago, the world is broken and is in need of healing, and we should be doing what can to mend such brokenness.

Yet, not only the world has problems or is broken. The Talmud declares that each human being is a world unto him or herself and, therefore each one of us experiences brokenness. Continue reading