July 1, 2021

Rabbi Steve Leder: Clearing out the Clutter, Nonlinear Grief & Finding Gratitude in the Mundane

Rabbi Steve Leder, author and Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, breaks down the beneficial and harmful aspects of religious structure on mental health and sense of community. He details his childhood in the midwest where he worked at the family junkyard under strict, religious parents, and how stealing Bob Dylan albums led him to the hippie rabbis who changed the course of his life. Mayim and Rabbi Leder reexamine the true meaning of sacrifice, the evolution of Judaism, and how religious extremism and radical secularism can negatively impact mental health. Mayim opens up about the role religion has played in her own life and sense of identity, and how Judaism’s structure of processing grief helped her to effectively mourn her father’s death. After analyzing the ways in which society can rebuild trust in its institutions, Mayim and Rabbi Leder discuss how impactful changes in our micro communities can lead to macro effects and the importance of learning from those with differing beliefs. Mayim explains how a disconnected marriage can affect mental health during an installment of Ask Mayim Anything.

Theme Song Written, Produced, and Performed by Ed Robertson. Mixed by Kenny Luong.
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Rabbi Steve Leder

Rabbi, Author

Mayim Bialik


Jonathan Cohen





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Guest References

Check Out Rabbi Steve Leder's Books!
As the senior rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in the world, Steve Leder has learned over and over again the many ways death teaches us how to live and love more deeply by showing us not only what is gone but also the beauty of what remains...
Death Reveals the Depths of Our Love.’ Rabbi Steve Leder on Dying and Grieving
Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, Steve Leder, reflects on dying, death, and grief. He shares his own experience dealing with...
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Videos Featuring Rabbi Steve Leder
Watch Steve's appearance on various media platforms and notable programs...
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Wilshire Boulevard Temple | Rabbi Steve Leder
After receiving his degree in writing and graduating Cum Laude from Northwestern University, and time studying at Trinity College, Oxford University, Rabbi Leder received a Master’s Degree in Hebrew Letters in 1986 and Rabbinical Ordination in 1987 from...
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