“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
Browsing category Judaism
I’m never impressed by outside experts, be they corporate, legal, etc. Our synagogue recently retained the services of two people: a rabbi who specializes in reinvigorating congregations, and an academic who studies our kind of congregation and I gather offers some sense of direction. It’s one of those things I think the current board thinks
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
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
Photo credit: Paul Cyr After a week-long vacation in Florida, we returned to Maine to find that our tomato plants had been raided and one of our newly planted fruit trees had been savaged. As my children played outside yesterday, as we had some time to recuperate, I thought about the prophet Elisha sending some bears
I wonder how many other Jewish kids in schools where there isn’t even a Jewish minority (Minority: Population One or Two) face Holocaust studies with trepidation. My wife grew up in a big Jewish community and counted Auschwitz survivors in the family. Me, I grew up aware of my Jewish background in a community with
“There is some factor in man, some form of special adaptation, which prompts a few individuals to exploits which, however purposeless they may seem, are of value to the survival of the race.” – J.L.R. Anderson, The Ulysses Factor
It’s been an eventful couple of months, and I haven’t been aggressive about writing for the blog. Passover was magical this year. Nezzie was a nightmare at the community first night Seder at our synagogue. Did we fulfill the halachic requirements? Yes. Was Nezzie tedious and embarrassing? Also yes. The second night was even better.
“And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not do him wrong. The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” I have
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.
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,