Pro­duc­ing con­tent on the Web since 1995.


some say­ings of ר‘משבצונה“ל

For many years I have worked hard, and strug­gled with mas­ter­ing virtuous. Now, in addi­tion, I’m work­ing on becom­ing more virtual.
This is an expres­sion of that effort.
* * * * * * *

השיבנו ה‘ אליך ונשובה חדש ימינו
כעוד לא היו
* * * * * * *
ומביא גאלה…
לצאצאיהם

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All pho­tographs are by Mark Hurvitz unless they are obvi­ously not (or credit oth­er­wise is given).

The pho­tos in the ban­ner at the top (only a shal­low sliver of a much larger photo) are either from our home or our trav­els and are offered for their beauty alone (though a brain-teaser for me: “Where was that?”).

#blogelul - act

american jewish world service — judaism in action around the world

val­ues made real

How will you act to make your Judaism real in the world? Con­sider becom­ing involved with one of these:

Amer­i­can Jew­ish World Ser­vice
The Reli­gious Action Cen­ter of Reform Judaism
Uri l’Tzedek — Ortho­dox Social Jus­tice
Bend the Arc; a Jew­ish Part­ner­ship for Jus­tice
Jews for Racial and Eco­nomic Jus­tice
Avo­dah: The Jew­ish Ser­vice Corps
Jew­ish Com­mu­nity Action
Jew­ish Com­mu­nity Rela­tions Coun­cil of Greater […]

jewish environmentalism and tu b'sh'vat

i planted a tree at bhc 1991

a thought regard­ing the his­tory of Jew­ish environmentalism

In Jan­u­ary of 1970 I needed to make (what for me then was) a sig­nif­i­cant per­sonal deci­sion. I was born on Jan­u­ary 22 on the Gre­go­rian cal­en­dar. How­ever, the year I was born, that date cor­re­sponded with Rosh Jodesh Sh’vat. I noticed then, that in 1970 Jan­u­ary 22 would coin­cide with Tu b’Sh’vat. […]

time for pruning

the days grow short, the moon fills and begins to wane.

The date clus­ters hang ready.
Come with me to the oasis.
The late sum­mer har­vest has begun.
I sort the fruit of my past year’s labor.

The fruit is full and sweet.
I look back on my year’s efforts with satisfaction.

The time for prun­ing has come.
Much dross weighs down my life.
Our lives are […]

& bring them close 2 #Torah">love humanity, & bring them close 2 #Torah

study­ing pirkei avot dur­ing the omer

Dur­ing the period of the Omer I have been study­ing Pirkei Avot. This is a tra­di­tional activ­ity for the period, but I have been doing it in a non-traditional man­ner. I take each Mish­nah and break it down into as few words as I can, yet still express a mean­ing­ful thought. Then, most of the time, I add a backslash […]

beyond the straits and narrow

a grow­ing haggadah

We printed a pri­vate new edi­tion of A Grow­ing Hag­gadah last year for per­sonal use. We will use it again this year. 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 […]

pirkei imahot

I am not the first to use the phrase, but begin­ning on March 15, 2000 I began a file in which I col­lected our mother’s say­ings. I will peri­od­i­cally share them here. One of her pri­mary expressions was:

if you can’t say any­thing nice about some­one,
don’t say it

It’s that simple.

Our mother was not a learned per­son. Though she grad­u­ated near the top of […]

giving and taking

giv­ing

On May Day, The New York Times pub­lished an arti­cle about how to deter­mine how much money you should donate, sug­gest­ing that “God Knows”. The arti­cle states that “Amer­i­cans gave away 2.2 per­cent of their per­sonal dis­pos­able income to non­profit groups of var­i­ous sorts in 2008″. It reviewed the usual amounts sug­gested by var­i­ous “Western” […]

Shake a Biblical Bouquet

[…from the archives (with minor updat­ing)]:
The cool blan­kets act like a cloud of dew in the heat of har­vest [Isaiah 18:4]

Dur­ing which we share a Bib­li­cal Bouquet:

Our rab­bis tell us this bou­quet is like our people:

Some with many good deeds,
oth­ers with much learn­ing;
Some with nei­ther…
Some with both.

The Four Species Table

Fra­grance

is like good deeds.

Taste

is like learning.

The willow’s long leaves have […]

In spite of everything, would she still believe?

If she had not been mur­dered by the Nazis in early March 1945, Anne Frank would turn 80 years old on 12 June 2009.

Anne Frank in an age pro­gres­sion image at 80 years old

What would you say to Anne Frank if you were to meet her on the street? …that she trans­formed your life? She made […]

Be Happy, It's Adar

On 23 Feb­ru­ary, 2009, in honor of Rosh Ḥodesh Adar 5769:

The Hebrew text around the edge says: MiShenich­nas Adar Mar­bim BeS­im­cha(When Adar Comes, Joy Is Increased)
משניכנס אדר מרבין בשימחה

Why should joy increase when the month of Adar begins? Because this is the true end of win­ter which was her­alded by Tu b’Shvat two weeks ago. […]