Rabbis’ Blog


    • Rabbis – Temple Sinai
    • Sabbatical 2015
    In the News…

    December was a busy month for being in the news, The Rabbis had a couple of lovely articles and Student [...]

    Rabbinical Transition Timeline

    Rabbinical Transition Timeline (This is an estimated timeline, subject to change, for our transition from Rabbi Linda and Rabbi Jonathan [...]

    Sabbatical Reflections – Jan. 2022

    From the Rabbis: Sabbatical Reflections – January 2022 After major disruptions to our travel plans at the beginning of January, we arrived [...]

    Stateside Adventures

    Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin RubensteinFamily together in PhiladelphiaThe last few weeks of our sabbatical - May 1 to June 9 - were spent back in the USA, and featured trips to Concord and Portsmouth, NH, Boston, the Adirondacks, Northampton, and New York City (3 times). But the highlight was just this past weekend in Philadelphia, where our daughter Ruhi Sophia graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and received the title of Rabbi. It is difficult to express the joy and pride that we feel in her accomplishment, and in seeing this amazing person begin such a significant new phase in her life. At the end of June Ruhi Sophia and her husband Jacob Siegel will be heading to Eugene, OR, where she will begin her position as Rabbi of Temple Beth Israel on July 15. With Shira flying in from Buenos Aires, the weekend provided the rare opportunity for our whole family to be together.Ari and Brent - The Esplanade on the CharlesBy the George Washington BridgePortsmouthIn fact, these last six weeks have been all about family and friends, and the sabbatical adventures and new experiences continued. We spent time in Boston with Ari, his boyfriend Brent, and our good friends Gail and George Strassfeld, kayaking on the Charles River during a spectacular weekend. Other weekends we biked along the New Hampshire coast while visiting Jonathan's sister Judith in Portsmouth, and had a couple of great bike rides along the Hudson River Greenway on the west side of Manhattan.Casa Azul, Mexico CityCasa Azul, New York Botanical GardenBefore going to Philadelphia last weekend, we picked up Shira at JFK on Thursday morning and went to the… [...]

    More México

    The religious and cultural diversity of Mexico is a source of continual delight and wonder for us. While Spanish is the national language, there are 68 officially recognized regional languages. There were hundreds of different indigenous peoples in the geographic area that became the Estados Unidos Mexicanos (the United Mexican States – the official name), each with its own cultural traditions, clothing, food, dances, rituals and masks. Though Catholicism was adopted by the overwhelming majority of these peoples, there remains to this day a fascinating syncretism of indigenous practices and Christianity.Santa Cruz ChurchThis past Shabbat, as we were strolling home from the morning service, we heard drumming and chanting coming from Santa Cruz, the church down the street from Shalom San Miguel. Dancers in brightly colored clothing and feathered headdresses poured out of the church square, in processional behind a Christian banner.Funeral ProcessionAnd as we returned from market on Monday, we encountered a funeral procession coming down Zacateros, a street near our home. The hearse was preceded by a man in black holding a crucifix banner in front of about a dozen dancers and musicians maintaining a rhythmic beat. La VirgencitaEverywhere we go we see the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a Mexican Catholic icon which incorporates layers of religious significance for indigenous Mexican peoples. Here are just a few places where she appears around San Miguel de Allende:in a restaurant bathroomOur apartment patioGood Friday in San Miguel de AllendeThis year the weekends of Pesach and Easter coincided. On Friday April 3, which was both Good Friday and Erev Pesach, people lined the streets for a parade through the historic center of San Miguel.Seder… [...]

    Leaving the countryside for town

    Jonathan with Brewster, Rosie, and LilyWe moved from the country into the city on April 1, from Simple Choice Farm located about 12 miles outside of San Miguel de Allende, into a rental property close to the city center.We are looking forward to the opportunity to explore and get to know San Miguel better, (and to celebrating Pesach with members of Shalom San Miguel, the Jewish community here), but there are also some things that we will miss when we move.We will miss the quiet of the countryside, where the loudest noises (except for the occasional bus or car on the road) are not human-made: the wind in the trees, the braying of donkeys and barking of dogs, the crow of the roosters, the twittering of birds. We will miss the way that animal life is inextricably blended with human life – the goats and sheep that scamper across the road, the cows that gaze at us placidly from their pastures, the pig that lifts its head and grunts a greeting when we walk by, the donkeys and horses that live alongside the campesinos. Brand-new church in El MembrilloWe will miss the friendliness of the people who live in the many ranchos accessible by footpaths or cobblestone streets from the main road, who smile and exchange greetings even with us foreigners. One of our favorite walks was into the comunidad of El Membrillo, where the residents were building a new stone church. We saw both the end of its construction, and the decorations celebrating the first Mass in the new building for the fiesta of their patron saint San Jose. Decorated for the mass and fiesta of… [...]

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