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 […]

#blogelul — hear

women should be seen & heard

wow, and how!

Briefly put. Support Women of the Wall (and the New Israel Fund).

Be sure you can…hearwomen’svoices!

women of the wall members blow the shofar at the back of the western wall plaza during its monthly rosh chodesh service, aug. 7, 2013. (miriam alster)

Here’s a Yeshiva world perspective.

And an appropriate button:

women should be seen […]

#blogelul — be

you don't have to be jewish to oppose the war in vietnam

mad man

Ad man William Bernbach developed a number of famous campaigns. For our purpose today, his most important is that for Levy’s bakery.

Correction (January 14, 2014): the woman behind the man!

Judy Portas died Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at the age of 91. As the story in the New York Times reports:

As Ms. Protas, a retired […]

#blogelul — do

what would maimonides do?

wwmd?

What would you do?

statue of maimonides in cordoba, spain

Maimondes’ “Hilchot Teshuva” (The Rules of Repentance) is available at Mechon Mamre: הלכות תשובה. It was translated from the Hebrew and posted at scribd by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman.

You can read an excerpt and introduction at My Jewish Learning:

If a man transgresses, wittingly or unwit­tingly, any precept […]

#blogelul — know

now, i know.

what might knowing change?

What does this (from a recent article in the Forward) mean?

…aggressive prenatal genetic testing has effectively eradicated devastating conditions such as Tay-Sachs…

a friend knows

I asked my friend Jane Herman who has the BRCA mutation why it is important to know.

I understand in your case, as an adult, knowing you carry a […]

#blogelul - prepare

just jew it

the upcoming event

You’ve invited a number of friends over. Even if it is a pot-luck dinner, there’s much you need to do in advance of the meal. You, as I do, probably have lists with sublists encompassing all the projects that go into making your event a success: write out and send invitations, clean the […]

(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, […]

#blogelul : faith

faith obama 2008

what does it mean to have faith?

When someone produces the same lapel button for competing candidates, all that individual is interested in is the dollar. So encouraging us to [have?] faith in either candidate from the 2008 presidential election is very odd.

Is faith something you can have in someone? We say: “I have faith in […]

#blogelul : trust

trust me, i'm a rabbi

don’t?

It is often hard to know whom to trust.

Each of the following buttons were sold as novelty items. The first suggesting we trust Bernard Madoff is very sad. The second is intended for fun.

I’ve never worn the first.

The other I wear at rabbinic conventions.

a shonda!

Date:
2009

Size:
5.7

Pin Form:
clasp

Print Method:
celluloid

Text
A SHONDA!

TRUST

trust me, i'm a rabbi

#blogelul : counting

love

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. […]