Ode to Joy: A Few Takes On Some Powerful Emotions
What are joy and happiness? Are they the same thing? What, if anything, can we learn about the way that Judaism talks about, and sometimes even commands, these emotional states? We’ll discuss a few traditional texts in light of our understandings of contemporary American culture and our own understandings of happiness and joy. Hopefully, we will gain some insights about what it is to be happy, and how a person might go about getting there.
Tears, Poop, and Radical Amazement: Parenting as a Spiritual Practice
How can the experience of parenting open up new insights about God, spirituality, the sacred and the mystical? How can understandings from the Jewish tradition transform even the most grueling of difficult moments into something profound? How does the Jewish tradition connect the work of child care with Divine work? And how can those in the trenches of childcare change the way everyone understands what it means to live a spiritual practice when life gets messy? In a lively, interactive discussion with Rabbi Ruttenberg, named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of ten "rabbis to watch," one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis, and as one of the “36 Under 36" (36 most influential leaders under age 36), you’ll talk about Jewish perspectives on parenting and the spiritual and theological implications it might have for everyone.
Bio: Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is the author of Surprised By God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion (Beacon Press), nominated for the 2010 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish literature and a 2009 Hadassah Book Club selecton, as well as editor of The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism (NYU Press) and Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism (Seal Press).
She has been named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of ten "rabbis to watch," one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis, and as one of the “36 Under 36" (36 most influential leaders under age 36). She has written for the New York Times, The Atlantic, Salon, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, and many other publications.
Rabbi Ruttenberg is also co-editor, with Rabbi Elliot Dorff, of three books for the Jewish Publication Society’s Jewish Choices/Jewish Voices series: Sex and Intimacy, War and National Security, and Social Justice. She’s also a contributing editor to Lilith and the academic journal Women and Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal and is on the editorial board of Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas.
Rabbi Ruttenberg has served as Senior Jewish Educator at Tufts Hillel and Campus Rabbi at Northwestern Hillel, and is currently the Director of Educational Content for Ask Big Questions, a major initiative of Hillel International. She is writing a book on parenting as a spiritual practice and lives in the Chicago area with her partner and sons.