Browsing category Judaism

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. ... May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

Geroge Washington's Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island

Religious Freedom Day


A week ago, Amelia came home with a social studies assignment.  Given that Thomas Jefferson was on a three month four of southern France and northern Italy during the Constitutional Convention, how did he influence the document? Enter the Historical Acknowledgment Du Jour – “Religious Freedom Day.”  Today’s historical significance talks about our First Amendment right,

A Menorah in Winterport


The ice atop our wooden deck crackles as I venture out to the woodpile. The night is quiet, but the cracks are loud, intrusive, and it feels like a violation. I kneel down in the snow by the shed, lifting up the blue tarp and grabbing what remains of the wood left by the house’s previous

Dear G-d, Would It Be Too Much?


Dear G-d, I believe in You. You know I do. But you know, I get kind of tired of reading the news. If I try and fail at being human day after day, and if that’s happening with each and every person out there, if we’re all falling down, and that stuff escalates to the

Weinstein


I was not lonely when Portnoy’s Complaint came to mind, apparently.  Out of fear of “The Goyim Know” set of anti-Semites, perhaps, we tend to back away to discussing our community’s problem with this, even amongst ourselves, and definitely not in public.  I know when I’ve seen non-Jews express curiosity about the Jewish component of this,

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

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

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

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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