A Needed Season of Light

This has for us been the most engaged week of Chanukah in a long time. We had a friend’s family over for the second night, we went to Chabad’s lighting and party in downtown Bangor, we had 11 friends over last night, and after the Chanukah party at our shul on Sunday, we’re enjoying the


Post Election Thoughts

Victory in defeat, there is none higher. She didn’t give up, Ben; she’s still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her. She’s a father working while cancer eats away his insides, to bring home one more pay check. She’s a twelve-year-old trying to mother her brothers and sisters because mama had to

Jewish custom to look at the candlelight reflected on the fingernails. Faint wispy smoke and black background.

Separating the Profane

“Let’s do havdalah tonight,” I said to Leah.  For our non-Jewish friends, this is the little ceremony that marks the end of Shabbos and the beginning of the normal week.  We highlight the partition between the sacred and the profane, between that island of holiness in our daily lives that is Shabbos, and the mundane

On Aging

One of the many reasons I love synagogue is because even in my 40s, congregants still call me “young man.” After my Army Physical Fitness Test last week, I don’t feel like a young man. In what is becoming increasingly common for me, I struggled with and actually failed the 2-mile run. I have good

Jewish man blowing the Shofar with view of the holy city of Jerusalem

Elul Meets Political Season

I’m back in our legislative district state house race. And you know what? I really think highly of my opponent. He’s a genuinely nice guy who is well-liked by people that know him. Whatever policies I may or may not share with him, that’s the important thing. We’re presenting sometimes overlapping, sometimes competing visions for


The Nemophilist

Our rabbi mentioned briefly in his dvar this week “hitbodedut,” the form of private Jewish meditation, associated most with Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and the Breslover chassidim.  Rabbi Nachman urged forests or fields for this. Can do!  Says I. Muir said, “Into the woods I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” I find

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About Brian

Brian Kresge

Brian Kresge

Writer, soldier, programmer, father, musician, Heeb, living in the woods of Maine with three ladies and a dog.

About Leah

Leah Kresge

Leah Kresge

Director of Education for Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Maine, special educator and former school board member, mother to Amelia and Nezzie.

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