Be like Vashti and Esther!

From Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz, February 21, 2013, Adar 5773 

Purim arrives on Saturday night and we will again hear the story from the Book of Esther. One of my heroes of the story, or shall I say heroines, is Vashti. She was the King’s first wife. When asked to appear at her husband’s party, where drinking had been occurring for days without limits, she said no and refused to attend. Vashti stood up for what she felt was right in a display of self-protection and feminism.

A Tale of Two Deer (a poem at the end of 2012)

From Rabbi Dantowitz, 12/31/2012

Like bookends on the year or nearly

One in February

A second in December


The first appeared without warning

And entered my life in a crash

Shock, what just happened

Fear, am I okay

Gratitude, I was okay


The second deer did not charge at me

Instead, I was the pursuer

And the deer just stood there, planted in the middle of the road

This time I could swerve

Shock, what just happened

Fear, am I okay


Grief and Action

From Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz 12/18/2012

I went to pick up my son, Daniel, from elementary school today to take him to a doctor’s appointment. I rang the bell and waited to be buzzed in by security. I stared at the door, taking note of its sturdiness, wanting to believe it could truly provide protection from a tragedy. Thinking about Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT is overwhelming.  Perhaps one of the parents had planned to pick up a child last Friday for a doctor’s appointment.

I hugged my boys a bit tighter this weekend.

Light Over Darkness

Hanukkah 5773
From Rabbi Dantowitz 12/10/2012

The familiar Hanukkah story of the miracle of the oil resonates in many ways.  As we increase the light each night of Hanukkah, so too do we strengthen ourselves by drawing warmth from one another. In this post-storm Sandy season of Hanukkah, many of us are still adjusting from the loss of power last month.

A Declaration of Faith-Sh’ma Yisrael

9 Heshvan 5773 -October 25, 2012

By Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz

While leading Tefila for the 2nd graders last week, we spent time exploring the powerful words of the Sh’ma. I asked them what sound the word begins with “shhh” and what it means to be quiet before we say something. One responded, it’s so you can really listen. Great I said.