This charming and thoughtful blog is the work of Rachel Barenblat, a rabbinic student who holds an MFA from Bennington and has written three chapbooks of poetry. Barenblat is a poet at heart, and her musings on religion, Judaism and faith in a technological world alone are worth the price of admission (which is free, of course, but still). One poem called Visitation, contains the lines: "We're fumbling for melody/when a faraway voice rings out/through static and silence/offering old prayers/through new cell phones/ Skype oscillating like the sea." There are also thoughtful meditations on prayer, Hebrew tradition, Torah commentary, and even recipes for religious feasts. The Velveteen Rabbi takes everything very seriously, except for itself, a sure sign of spiritual wisdom.
Sample Velveteen Rabbi Post: (recipe) Despite the lovely savory hamentaschen recipe posted recently, I decided to go old school and to make good old fashioned sweet hamentaschen to bring to my shul for our Purimspiel tonight. But Ethan asked me a fine question while I was baking: what's the story with hamentaschen?
Quite a compliment to VR. Time Magazine ranks it near the top in its first ever blog index. Yasher koach!