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?”).

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

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. Now […]

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 to judge peo­ple. We do it […]

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.

Isa­iah:

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

Gersh­win:

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

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 a number […]

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” […]

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 popular […]

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. The […]