first they came for the canary

what are the police doing in egypt?

At a cer­tain point dur­ing the recent (2011) Egypt­ian rev­o­lu­tion it was not always clear with which side the police iden­ti­fied. These Police are dif­fer­ent. They’re singing about canaries in coal mines. They offer a per­son­al­ized vari­ant of the old metaphor.

First to fall over when the atmos­phere is less than […]

the boy and I

the boy with his hands raised

As I men­tioned here on April 10, when I was in my ear­ly 20s, I tried to imag­ine the life of the boy with his hands raised being led from the War­saw Ghet­to. I spent months with him, I kept his image before me dai­ly. I looked into his eyes, and I tried to look through his […]

on following orders

you decide how to go

Last year (2009) at this time of Yom haShoah I wrote that I believe that all Jew­ish teenagers (at least) should expe­ri­ence a week of sho’a night­mares.

I was in my ear­ly 20s when I tried to imag­ine the life of the boy with his hands raised being led from the Ghet­to. I spent months with him, […]

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, […]

Hidden in plain sight

At the far east end of 47th Street in Man­hat­tan, between 2nd and 1st Avenues a broad love­ly park leads up to the Unit­ed Nations com­plex of build­ings on the East Riv­er. A farmer’s mar­ket is set up every Wednes­day through­out the year.

a mar­ket and plaza to ral­ly against geno­cide

This broad space is known as Katharine Hep­burn […]

hidden in plain sight (continued)

con­tin­ued from hid­den in plain sight

what are we hid­ing (from)?

As of this writ­ing, the phrase “hid­den in plain sight” appears in a Google search 142,000 times. It must refer to a wide vari­ety of con­cepts and sit­u­a­tions. How many things to we encounter and pass by that are as though they are hid­den from us in plain […]

Which is the fast…?

[cross post­ed at the Jew and the Car­rot and at the Reli­gious Action Cen­ter of Reform Judaism].

The prophet Isa­iah asks (58:6–7):

Is not this the fast that I have cho­sen? to loose the fet­ters of wicked­ness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is […]

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? […]

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 […]

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 […]