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 that while […]

(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 […]

&♥‘s and my &♥ is mine אלול">I am my &♥‘s and my &♥ 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 rela­tion­ship between […]

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 Reform Judaism […]

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 in plain […]

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? Is […]