Join Me for AIPAC’s Policy Conference on March 20-22, 2016 in Washington, DC

Submitted by Cantor Jessica F. Epstein, 11/25/2015

The Sukkah

By Cantor Jessica Epstein, 9/28/2015

It sits in a dusty corner of the garage, usually covered by tomato cages and sometimes stray fertilizer granules. It's bundled up, a nondescript piece of canvas and a bunch of pipes, a few slightly bent. Nearby there's a cardboard box of tangled lights in the shape of grapes and tattered foil decorations. Shelter magazine ready it is not. Some decorations are handmade and worn, made with love by toddler hands. They are still displayed with pride by their now oh-so-over-everything tween creators. 

Hagar: Alive, Dead, Reborn

By Cantor Jessica F. Epstein, 9/9/2015

Did she come all this way only to sit in the desert and die without pity?

A few days ago she was full of life, treasured and adored by Abraham. Pride of place was hers. She was the mother of his oldest son, Ishmael. Elevated above a being a mere handmaiden to her former mistress, Sarah, she held sway in the tents as a mother in her own right. While not a wife exactly, her position was far from low.

I'm Not Ready

By Cantor Jessica Epstein, 9/3/2015

I'm not ready.

The truth is, I'm never ready.

Whether the New Year comes early, late, or right on time, the simple fact is there is never enough time. There is never enough time to turn myself inside out. There is never enough time to move out of the blurry, busy, sometimes dream-like state I live in and face these awe-filled days.

And that's just how it is. I accept it. For twenty years, since cantorial school in 1995, I've been leading worship, and for twenty years I've never been ready. 

The Garden

By Cantor Jessica Epstein, 12/1/2014

The Garden

Gardening is about moments.

The holy moment when seed sprouts leaves and begins to feel its way to sun.

When red dagger peony stems break frozen free and arc toward future fragrance.

Fading always, something alive

And living always, something fading.

And these come to tell us who we are.


Blowing leaves and trimming grass are weekly heard, rarely observed.

But buds bursting,

fungus creeping

blight stalking,

bugs chewing,