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 that while […]

#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 not […]

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 print out the work­sheet illus­trat­ed […]

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 27

Accord­ing to Rab­bi Ben­jamin J. […]