Did you go to the Purim Concert?

Purim: Megilla Read­ings, Balls and Con­certs (oh my; so many options)

As long ago as 1864, New York Jews attend­ed Purim Balls, a tra­di­tion now main­tained for the past 32 years at The Jew­ish Muse­um. And, not only in New York, but also Bev­er­ly Hills, CA, Min­neapo­lis, MN and Akron, OH where young women are pre­sent­ed as […]

Fake News vs. Truth a case of Goliath vs. David

Is Fake News vs. Truth a case of Goliath vs. David?
Once we knew one truth

Over forty years ago, Rab­bi Richard N. Levy wrote a para­graph that entered the Gates of Prayer Sid­dur. I quot­ed from it in a ser­mon dur­ing the Clin­ton impeach­ment hear­ings that dealt with “what is truth”.

Once we learned one truth, and it was cher­ished or […]

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 that while […]

#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 adver­tis­ing exec­u­tive […]

#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 […]

#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 […]

#blogexodus : (the cup of) redemption

the sec­ond cup — the cup of redemp­tion — כוס גאולה

Think of each cup of wine as a toast to the gen­er­a­tions of our peo­ple who com­mit­ted them­selves to the strug­gle for lib­er­a­tion in their own day.

With the sec­ond cup of wine we recall the sec­ond promise, the sec­ond stage, of our redemp­tion, the actu­al res­cue […]

#blogexodus : (learning from) the signs

the signs

We each need to learn dif­fer­ent things at dif­fer­ent stages of our lives.

Pharaoh was unwill­ing to release his labor sup­ply.

Pharaoh thought him­self a god. He believed he could do what­ev­er he want­ed to with indi­vid­u­als or entire peo­ples. He need­ed to learn the dif­fi­cult les­son: there exists a Source of Pow­er beyond the self.

A series of […]

#blogexodus : getting beyond the straits and narrow

how could so many peo­ple leave at one time?

Amaz­ing­ly, in our own day we have already for­got­ten that “Hun­dreds of thou­sands of… refugees streamed home­ward…” [Rwan­dan refugees; James C. McKin­ley Jr. of The New York Times in the Los Ange­les Dai­ly News. Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 16, 1996.] Refugees all over the world seek shel­ter and com­fort.

And […]

promise of dawn


dark morn­ings

As the north­ern hemi­sphere moves deep­er into win­ter with less light for each day, our morn­ings begin near dawn. This is a beau­ti­ful time of begin­nings and promise. While the sounds we hear each morn­ing are not those of birds chirp­ing and chil­dren learn­ing, but the clank­ing of men at work, even these call out […]