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Author Archives: Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser
Critical hope seems at first to be a contradiction in terms–a clash of two universes of discourse. “Hope” has to do with the experience of faith which inspires vision, which engages us in action and (hopefully) to a sacred, healing … Continue reading →
I remember the first time I really saw the numbers tattooed on Mrs. New’s arm. I had seen them before, but by 11 years old, I knew enough to really see them. I remember a 2 and a long chain … Continue reading →
Memory and Historiography–the writing of history–are two forces that stand in opposition for the heart and soul of a people. Of the two, memory has much more power than history. I learned this from a small book I read in … Continue reading →
After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, 11-year-old Micah Blay made a pilgrimage to the U.S. Supreme Court and blew the shofar for the hundreds of people gathered there. In keeping with Jewish custom, they laid small stones on the steps … Continue reading →
My son is now a project manager for a large hospital system. Two weeks ago, he took on the task of getting remote communications and monitoring programs into ICUs so nurses could monitor Covid-19 patients without having to always enter … Continue reading →
There is a Jewish holiday dedicated to uncertainty. Its very name, Purim, means “dice.” During the holiday, the community reads the Book of Esther, a biblical book in which God is never mentioned. In the Book of Esther, God works … Continue reading →
There are verses in psalm 139 that I have used (to mix my spiritual metaphors) like a Zen Koan. “If I were to say that darkness will shadow me, then night would be light on my account…Night shines as day.” … Continue reading →
Last weekend I watched a stupid movie with my son and my daughter in law. My son is involved with the world of medical care, and my daughter-in-law is director of a preschool. They both spend a lot of time … Continue reading →
At the close of Spring semester, Jewish Student Advisor Rabbi Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser moves over to the Smith School for Social Work (SSW) to act as their summer chaplain. The SSW has an intense summer residency program where students do two … Continue reading →
On a freezing February evening in the center of Northampton, Jewish students, many wearing yarmulkes, stood in support of Dreamers. This action epitomizes the focus of the Smith College Jewish Community, the largest Jewish organization on campus. The Jewish students … Continue reading →