.אהוב את המלאכה, ושנא את הרבנות, ואל תתודע לרשות
Love work; despise public office; and do not be intimate with the ruling authorities.
Pirkei Avot 1:10
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
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
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
Today is the convergence of Mother’s Day and Lag BaOmer, so it makes for a nice oasis in the midst of the joyless wasteland that is Sefirat HaOmer. I haven’t shaven except for National Guard duty, and though I listen to jazz on the merits of Rabbi Willig’s opinion, I don’t truly enjoy it. It’s
The world presents itself in two ways to me. The world as a thing I own, the world as a mystery I face. What I own is a trifle, what I face is sublime. I am careful not to waste what I own; I must learn not to miss what I face. Rabbi Abaraham Joshua
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
A few weeks ago, I cut some recent deadfall on our property to start “seasoning it” in our woodpile. Last night, after Shabbos, I grabbed some wood from the wrong pile for our woodstove, and realized later that my fingers were sticky. I thought it was a cool corollary to Tu B’Shevat, where we know
A few years ago, I read a book about the origin of Hanoten Teshua, the traditional Jewish prayer for government.1 The evolution of this prayer or even the evolution of Jewish prayers for nation, is clearly linked to the Jewish experience in Diaspora. This prayer, of course, even though in rare liturgical use by the majority
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.
Director of Education for Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Maine, special educator and former school board member, mother to Amelia and Nezzie.