Jews and Campaign Buttons: A Time-Honored Tradition

a selection of Jewish-themed campaign buttons 1940-2016

A briefer version of this blog post, with fewer illustrations, was published as “Ten Minutes of Torah” on October 27, 2016 on ReformJudaism.org.

Strangers don’t often interact on New York’s streets. Yet, this election season, I am often stopped and asked about my political lapel button.

Generally, I have found […]

(ac)counting

kindness counts

let me count the (w/d)ays

The period between Pesach and Shavuot was one of serious tension in ancient Israel. The barley harvest began at Pesach and the wheat harvest ended near the time of Shavuot. More was at stake during the period of the counting of the Omer than our spiritual growth. The future year’s wealth, […]

#blogexodus : freedom — braiding three strands

a braid of three strands

There are many possible modes for understanding the events retold in the Pesach Haggadah.

Of these, three are braided together so that, if we concentrate exclusively on any one of them, we diminish the special qualities of the entire story.

By participating in the symbolic actions built into the order of the Seder,
we […]

I am my &#9829’s and my &#9829 is mine אלול

welcome to אלול

As we begin Elul, the month before Rosh haShannah, preparations for the new year start.

blowing shofar

The Hebrew word אלול is considered an acronym for the phrase from the Song of Songs: 6:3a…

אני לדודי ודודי לי = I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.

The phrase is meant to suggest a loving […]

are you slow to fast?

fasting for darfur

As noted in an earlier post on this blog, on the 26 of Sivan 5769 (corresponding to June 17-18, 2009) I fasted to call attention to the continuing genocide in Darfur. One of my regular readers shared a comment here. That column was cross-posted at the blog of the Religious Action Center of […]

hidden in plain sight (continued)

continued from hidden in plain sight

what are we hiding (from)?

As of this writing, the phrase “hidden in plain sight” appears in a Google search 142,000 times. It must refer to a wide variety of concepts and situations. How many things to we encounter and pass by that are as though they are hidden from us […]

Neapolitan

Over the years I have been asked:

What kind of a rabbi are you?

To which I answer without hesitation:

A good rabbi!

And then my interlocutor stammers a bit and says:

No, no, what… oh, ah…. Are you…?

At which point I gently interrupt and say:

Neapolitan

Which is the fast…?

[cross posted at the Jew and the Carrot and at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism].

The prophet Isaiah asks (58:6-7):

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the fetters of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? […]