מזל טוב

queen city of the west

When Deb­bie and I decid­ed to con­tin­ue our rab­binic stud­ies at the Cincin­nati, Ohio cam­pus of HUC-JIR rather than at the New York cam­pus, a num­ber of our friends made fun of us. They joked that we’d spend all our time in rock­ing chairs on the porch of our apart­ment. We actu­al­ly had […]

The People of the…

We have been called a Peo­ple of the Book for near­ly 1400 years. We did not invent the term. It was giv­en to us (as well as to Chris­tians) by our cousins the Mus­lims. Nonethe­less, even as our tech­nolo­gies move us beyond the phys­i­cal book, the text remains. We return to the text that has served […]

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, […]

Faye Avrunin Hurvitz ז

…from the archives (with minor updat­ing), repost­ed on what would be her 4th Yahrtzeit

Faye Hurvitz cel­e­brates her 90th birth­day a bit ear­ly with her fam­i­ly gath­ered, August 2003

21st of Tevet 5674 — 8th of Tam­muz 5765
Decem­ber 20 1913 (the win­ter sol­stice) — July 14, 2005

Our moth­er, Faye Hurvitz, died July 14, 2005 (8th of Tam­muz 5765).

Three […]

weaving together fringes of Jewish life”?">What is the meaning of:
weaving together fringes of Jewish life”?

Do you wear a Kip­pah and/or Tzitz­it?

On Sep­tem­ber 24, 1996 I asked my rab­binic col­leagues… in par­tic­u­lar, those who wear Kip­pot (and request/require the stu­dents in their con­gre­ga­tions to wear Kip­pot when either study­ing or enter­ing the syn­a­gogue), whether they wear Tzitz­it as well, and if not, why.
My orig­i­nal ques­tion was not so much about Tzitz­it or […]

th Century Jewish Cultural Hero">19th Century Jewish Cultural Hero

I col­lect (Amer­i­can) Juda­ic lapel but­tons.
I have approx­i­mate­ly 3000 unique items. Each one rep­re­sents a dif­fer­ent moment in the Amer­i­can Jew­ish expe­ri­ence.
Peri­od­i­cal­ly I share them here.

My uncle was named after Mendele Mocher Sforim (the “Grand­fa­ther of Yid­dish lit­er­a­ture”). His old­er broth­er, my father was always called Nathan or Nate, though he was named Nechemia. I’ve not found any­one […]

Sho'a Nightmares

In April of 1997 I wrote (as an aside) to a forum of col­leagues:

I think every teenage Jew­ish child ought to have a week of Sho’a relat­ed night­mares. If we can reen­act the Exo­dus and liv­ing in Sukkot, why not the Sho’a?

Only one per­son respond­ed. How­ev­er, that response was quite intense. I will not quote from that response, but […]

Why Wine?

[cross post­ed at the Jew and the Car­rot].

At Pesach we drink a lot of wine. Why is it called the sym­bol of our joy?

In an arid envi­ron­ment, wine can be seen a method of preser­va­tion. If you do not live or work near a well or a spring or some oth­er source of fresh water you need […]