Danya Ruttenberg

How do We Connect? Lessons from Jerusalem

I'm spending the year in Jerusalem.  Our family is on sabbatical, so we've come back to the city where my partner and I met.  I lived here for a few years about 10 years ago, but it's a whole other experience as a parent.

Out of Isolation

This post originally appeared on the Ritualwell blog. Ritualwell.org is our partner on the Tisha B'Av guide.


"Take solace in the fact that she's in a better place now." 

"Don't sit around moping after the breakup—you need to get out!"

"Cheer up! It'll get better from here."

The Great Principle

We are delighted to share the closing d'var Torah (sermon) that Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg gave at Hillel International's inagural Changemakers event in New York City on June 9th.

If you had to guess, what do you think the greatest sages in the Jewish tradition would pick as the most important moment in the Torah?

I Don't Feel Secure in America Today

 Just about a year ago, 20 first-graders and 6 school personnel were massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.    

Ignoring with a Generous Eye

Our most intimate relationships—the ones that matter most to us—can each, in their way, be a sort of monastery. The space between two people who have committed to being in relationship with one another can be a sort of chamber in which the boundaries of the self are tested over and over again. To what degree are you willing to compromise? Where are you willing to have your perspectives transformed? How can you find compassion and courage even when you're feeling hurt or vulnerable?

And, critically: What can you just... let go of?

Interconnection Has Implications

It is no small thing that the traditional Jewish liturgy is written almost entirely in the first person plural. When a Jew prays praises God’s greatness, or petitions for healing, or offers up thanks—even during the private, silent portion of the service—she does so not as “I,” but as “we.” “Hear our prayer!” we entreat, not “Hear my prayer.” Even in our most intimate moments with the Divine, Jewish spiritual practice inscribes deep within us the awareness that we are all interconnected, that my own wellbeing, prosperity and gratitude is inextricably tied to others.