Let My People Go (Отпусти народ мой) [that they may serve me]!

a grow­ing hag­gadah

A new edi­tion of A Grow­ing Hag­gadah (which is still avail­able in its 2005 HTML ver­sion) has been print­ed. If you are inter­est­ed in hav­ing a PDF ver­sion of the text to print and use (in whole or in part) at your Seder you can down­load it here.

A Grow­ing Hag­gadah (for fam­i­ly use)
A Grow­ing Hag­gadah […]

how much is any life worth?

redeem­ing pris­on­ers

The val­ue of פדיון שבויים‎ (Pidy­on Shvuy­im, the redemp­tion of pris­on­ers) is very impor­tant in Jew­ish life. Mai­monides states that it takes prece­dence over sup­port­ing the poor or cloth­ing them… because the prob­lems of the cap­tive include those of the poor: being hun­gry, thirsty, unclothed, and they are in dan­ger of their lives.

an entire […]

steve’s song

jews and judaism in amer­i­can elite cul­ture .01

On Sun­day evening, Novem­ber 8, 2009 I attend­ed “Steve Reich Talks about his Jew­ish Music at JMF”. I was a bit sur­prised (after being told to reserve my free tick­ets in advance) that there were per­haps fifty peo­ple in the hall wait­ing to hear the words of this very […]

swann song

jews and judaism in amer­i­can pop­u­lar cul­ture .01
now, …with har­vey and sheila!

There was a time, it feels strange to write this… a gen­er­a­tion ago, when being Jew­ish was very “in”. The thing to be in Amer­i­ca. Amer­i­cans con­tin­ue to, even increas­ing­ly, con­vert to Judaism in the 2000s. How­ev­er, back in “The Six­ties” some forms of Jew­ish cul­ture […]

How did the על חטא (al ḥet) begin?

I don’t know.How­ev­er, I imag­ine it some­thing like this

[…from the archives (with minor updat­ing)]:
Betha­mi knew the way down the nar­row windswept alley­ways of Tiberias blind­fold­ed

The lap­ping of the tiny waves of Galilee offered a con­stant guide. She had walked this path many times, since her ear­li­est years, when she went with her moth­er to vis­it the rab­bi. […]

&♥‘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 […]

Hiroshima 広島市 Day ☮

The first nuclear weapon “Lit­tle Boy” was dropped on the city of Hiroshi­ma on Mon­day, August 6, 1945.

nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment lapel but­ton

call­ing for nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment then

I have a clear mem­o­ry from long ago, some­time around 1959: walk­ing with my fam­i­ly down Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard, some­where near Vine. We were part of a demon­stra­tion call­ing for nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment, […]