Browsing category Judaism

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A Preening Nation


Photo credit: Joe Angseesing, from the Internet Bird Collection The First Amendment is important to me.  I think it’s important to most of us.  As disconcerting as the now continuing marches in Charlottesville are, I prefer to think less about content and more about unrestrained exercise. When I think about the content, I realize that it

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The Fisher Cats of Repentance


I awoke the other night, prior to Rosh Hashanah, to what sounded like the terrified scream of a teenage girl. I checked on Amelia immediately.  She was snoring in her bed in the third floor loft. No, the sound was coming from outside. It wasn’t an owl.  We have plenty of those and their noises don’t

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Selichot


Last night, serendipity caused a delightful convergence that reminds me the distance between Jews is largely arbitrary. Our shul had three people and our permanent non-Jewish guest (a displaced Southern gentleman with a heart of gold) turn out for selichot, so we crossed the street and joined a service led by our local Chabad shaliach. It

Judaism is a Living Contradiction


Judaism is a living contradiction. At some points we learned that we should never question Hashem, but should obey on blind faith. Look what happened when Moses hit the rock. Look at Nachshon walking into the Red Sea. Etc. Yet at some points Judaism is all about questioning, just look at the Talmud or Avraham

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When Philo-Semitism Goes Too Far


A few months ago, a weird guy carrying a canoe paddle showed up at our shul. He walked in, wearing a fedora, a leather jacket, carrying a backpack and an oar. I’m not sure what he was doing there. Most Jews at this point are conditioned to take this sort of thing passively, avoid and

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On Jewish Marriage


There have been a number of moves within the USCJ, and an article or two from Modern Orthodox rabbis lately encouraging traditional or observant Jews to be more receptive to intermarriage. With a lot of intermarried friends, I’m loathe to go on too much of a tear about this. However, coming from a family that

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Bedikat Chametz


Pesachim 2a, right from the mishna says, “On the night of the 14th of Nissan, one searches for chametz by candlelight.”  This is called bedikas chametz. The rabbis hotly debate the whys and whatfors (and accompanying minutia), but what it comes down to, for me, is a fun but weird way to get my children to

About Brian

Brian Kresge

Brian Kresge

Writer, soldier, programmer, father, musician, Heeb, living in the woods of Down East 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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An Ancient Call

January 13, 2017

Selichot

September 17, 2017

Digital Time Capsules

February 15, 2017

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