Sarah’s Laugh: Doubt, Trust, and the Ambiguity of the Womb

Date: May 01, 2023

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Sponsor: Online Learning | Public Lectures and Events

Location: Online

Category: Online Learning Public Lectures & Events

Sarah’s Laugh: Doubt, Trust, and the Ambiguity of the Womb   

Part of our spring learning series, The Space In-Between: Thresholds and Borders in Jewish Life and Thought 

Monday, May 1, 2023
1:00–2:00 p.m. ET


With Rabbi Mychal Springer, Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and Adjunct Professor, JTS 

Many years ago, when I was undergoing fertility treatments, I went to services on Rosh Hashanah and heard the Torah and haftarah readings as if for the first time. These readings focus on Sarah and Hannah, two biblical women who struggle with infertility for many years and are then told they will conceive. Upon hearing their stories that year, I suddenly saw my personal struggles in a new light; I realized that the Rabbis had lifted up infertility as being at the heart of Jewish religious experience, echoing in the birth of every new year for generations of Jews. Struggling to conceive or give birth is a liminal experience intimately bound up with our tradition. Wrestling with faith, cultivating trust, and honoring doubt are essential for people who yearn for future generations, both personally and as part of the larger immortality our people seeks.  

If you have previously registered for another session in this series, your registration admits you to all sessions in the series, and you may attend as many as you’d like. 

Note: The Zoom link for this session will be in the confirmation email that you will receive after you register. 


The Space In-Between: Thresholds and Borders in Jewish Life and Thought 

We are living in an undefined time: our daily existence is no longer dominated by the pandemic, yet neither have we settled into a new normal. This sense of being in transition—neither here nor there—can feel destabilizing; but is the time in between really temporary, or are we always living in between moments, identities, and phases of life?  

In this series, JTS scholars will delve into the idea of liminality—the time or space in between—which we encounter often in Jewish ritual, identity, law, and life. Join us to consider what these many manifestations of “in-between-ness” can teach us about ourselves and about Judaism, and to explore how we might find strength and meaning in an orientation not of “either/or” but of “both/and.”