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

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 […]

#blogelul : counting


the numbers’ game
[Note: not all of the buttons used to illustrated this game represent the concept expressed in the numbers; some are used because they display that number.]

The children played by the shore, allowing the ball to bounce lightly on their finger tips before they popped it over to the other side of the line. […]

6 on a scale of 1 to 10?

judge everyone, how?

In Pirke Avot 1:6, R. Joshua ben Perachiah says:

והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות

The phrase is variously translated as:

judge every man in the scale of merit
judge every man towards merit
Judge every person favorably
Give all individuals the benefit of the doubt
Judge the whole of a man to the side of merit

It is hard […]

Elul Homework 1

now the real work begins

Talk about “trimming” or “unifying” is easy. The difficult task lies ahead. I need to seek out the people I have wronged, approach them and express to them my regret along with a clear plan as to how I will change my behavior in the future.

At this time every year I […]

Unifying my life as I trim my garden

As I wrote the other day, while I prepare during the month of Elul for Rosh haShannah, I think about what is peripheral to my life, and what I should toss.

Aside from blowing shofar each day during Elul, another practice has taken on the nature of a daily ritual: the reading of Psalm 27.

Psalm […]