Be Happy, It's Adar! (again)

On 15 Feb­ru­ary, 2018, in hon­or of Rosh Ḥodesh Adar 5778:

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


4.4 cm

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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, […]

face to face

שלום button produced by habonim

vir­tu­al and real life rela­tion­ships

If you are read­ing this, you know that I believe in the val­ue of “vir­tu­al” or “Inter­net rela­tion­ships”, though not of the inti­mate kind. In fact, it’s writ­ten over there in the upper left cor­ner that “For many years I have worked hard, and strug­gled with mas­ter­ing vir­tuous. Now, in addi­tion, I’m work­ing […]

#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 […]

let us make light

a can­dle light­ing kavanah in hon­or of shab­bat of bereishit
As our week ends, we focus on how our own lives mir­ror cos­mic events.

Shab­bat now begins.
We have com­plet­ed a full week of cre­ation.

Now we focus inward for a short time;
of what has this week con­sist­ed?

We bring to con­scious­ness aspects of our week just passed:

Was there a project left […]

it's very clear

our love is here to stay

While prepar­ing a wed­ding drash for this past week I learned that Ira Gersh­win chan­neled Isa­iah 54:10 in this week’s haf­tarah por­tion.


For the moun­tains may move
And the hills be shak­en,
But my loy­al­ty shall nev­er move from you,
Nor My covenant of friend­ship be shak­en


In time the Rock­ies may tum­ble,
Gibral­tar may crum­ble,
They’re only made […]

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 […]

giving and taking


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” […]

esther’s song

purim in novem­ber

On Thurs­day night, Novem­ber 19, 2009, Deb­bie and I went to see the opera Esther at the New York City Opera in Lin­coln Cen­ter.
The opera, the last one by com­pos­er Hugo Weis­gall is based on the bib­li­cal Book of Esther. It uses the basic sto­ry­line (with some mod­i­fi­ca­tions in the sequence of […]

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 […]