Browsing category Judaism

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

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

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,

About Brian

Brian Kresge

Brian Kresge

Writer, President of Bangor's Congregation Beth Israel, 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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