Sh’ma Journal: S BLOG

Naomi is a monthly blogger on the SBlog, Shma Journal’s online blog that invites a plurality of voices to engage with matters critical to contemporary Judaism. Reposted with permission from Sh’ma (www.shma.com), as part of a larger conversation shma.com/author/naomi-less

A Blessing from Brokenness

February 18, 2014 was the day I came out. That’s what my friends told me, at least. I associate “coming out” with news from friends who came out as gay or lesbian, who wanted to stop repressing or hiding parts of themselves. My “coming out” was different. I posted something personal on the Sh’ma blog, “S Blog,” which touched a More »

Safe Return – Ushmor Tzeiteinu

On May 25th – just around 2 months after the militant group in Nigeria – Boko Haram – kidnapped/abducted over 200 school girls from Chibok, Nigeria, my friend Tehilah Eisenstadt-Feil invited me to walk. You see, I felt paralyzed – that I could do nothing, that our country’s efforts were amounting to nothing, that the More »

Mall Rat

Once upon a time, I was a Jewish suburban girl…hard to believe, right? But my world consisted of a small neighborhood with a big mall. I walked to the mall three blocks away first as 4th or 5th grader to buy jelly bellys with my friend. Next, in junior high I was dropped off by More »

Get the heck out of your way…

One of my teachers, Dr. Gabe Goldman, gave me a lesson years ago about ego. He asked me to share one of my songs with him. (I’d just started songwriting a year or two before – but refused to let anyone hear my music.) I said – no way – it’s not good. People won’t More »

New Practice on an Old Ritual

Someone once asked me what I do: Are you “religious”? What does that word religious mean, afterall?  I do certain things in life religiously–like say “love you” at the end of phone conversations with people I love. I always live-translate Hebrew to English when I teach to make sure everyone has access to what I’m More »

The Real Me

WARNING – SOME SEXUALLY EXPLICIT PHOTOS BELOW. Two Girls. Set on a pedestal to be revered by little girls (and boys) – teaching values, morals, how to communicate, how to be great girls navigating through life. And then… Wrecking Ball. Slave for You. Titles that invoke violence and sexuality. Less and less clothing. Less and More »

In the meanwhile

In the meanwhile… I am happily married – I settled down in 2009 – living an unsettled/settled life. Settled in that I nest in our apartment, not feeling the need to go out all the time anymore. Unsettled in that as a touring musician, I’m moving around to different communities a lot. But there’s a deep feeling of unsettled-ness within me.  I’m More »

Fear Less

Today’s journey – follow these instructions: 1. Before you read on – take a listen to this track clip – (the whole track is at the end). Take a second to get this into your consciousness. (Translation: The whole world is a narrow bridge and the key is not to be afraid. Written by Reb More »

I’m free to do what I want?

Today’s Instructions: This post is a soundtracked musical journey. As you read, click play on the music clips – they will enhance your experience. Music clips are listed at the end.  (Suggestion: turn your volume down so that it’s a soundtrack and not distracting.) Let’s face it: I can do pretty much whatever I want More »

Listen, Israel…

There are a few articles about the Kotel and Women of the Wall in this month’s Sh’ma Journal about Holiness.  As my friend Ellen Allard taught me in in her song, “Holy-Holiness” – “all around, everywhere – holy holiness”.  (Very Baal Shem Tov of them.) So why the attachment to locale? I’m actually less interested More »