Not "Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral." Yes, in those categories, everything can be reduced to their lowest common denominator of "atoms." And on the computer we can consider it all just "ones" and "zeros." Nonetheless, here I've gathered materials I've produced that are generally associated with "text" "visual art" and "music."
When in high school and college I was a music major. I have had a long and deep interest in music of all kinds. We grew up with “folk music” in the house. We lived not far from the KFAC broadcasting antenna and when I got a crystal radio the only station I could pick up was that one. At the time the station played only classical music. I would go to sleep with the earphone on, or hanging directly above, my pillow listening to the opening strains of Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto No.1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 which was the theme music of “The Gas Company Evening Concert”. I credit this with my interest in Western Classical Art music.
Here I’ll share thoughts about music and some of the music that has been important in my life.
Discussions are just that, collections of ideas organized in a coherent
manner. Some of these are quite brief, others have more depth.
I highlight access to one below.
- On creating downloadable resources for Jewish college students.
- Muslim spokespeople -- somebody's missing!
- What Do We Mean By "Religious" Wars
- An Online Primer On Islam
- Islam Hijacked
- What We Can Do
- The Occupation Must End!
- Avigail's friends wanted to know why I do not wear a Kippah
- Same-Sex Commitment Ceremonies
- The Natural Life Cycle Of Mailing Lists
- The "December Dilemma"
- Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
Since the late sixties I've "composed" works for groups. A
very few are musical compositions. Most are textual readings.
I highlight access to one below.
- A Growing Haggadah
- A Sukkot Meditation
- A Multicultural Community Thanksgiving
- A Chanukkah Collection
- A Purim Shpeil for Shabbat
- A Wedding Ceremony
- A Funeral Ceremony
I once delivered sermons, but rarely now. I continue to collect what
I've written here.
- Our Guidebook and Our Spaceship
- For Rosh haShannah & Yom Kippur
Here I make available the works of others that I believe should see the
light of a cathode ray tube (with whom I may or may not agree).
- Rabbinic Officiation at Same-Sex Ceremonies
by Rabbi Joan Friedman
Letter To My Rabbinic Colleagues by Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut. [regarding
the same-sex marriage discussion on HUCALUM and RavKav.]
doing the Shema?
(... no, Who's doing the candle lighting!)
by Cantor Joel Colman
adapted from "Who's on First" by Abbott & Costello
- My Poetry Collection
In the late sixties, I noticed some books on the poetry shelves of a variety of independent bookstores. These had unusual Jewish-sounding titles. I started collecting the books (often no more than broadsides or pamphlets) hoping to find poems of a spiritual nature that could enter new siddurim (a few have). Through the following years till the mid '70s I did poetry readings and encouraged more writing which I published in Davka of which I was then the editor. The vast majority of these texts I donated to the Klau Library at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati. I present the bibliography here as a resource for others to be aware of some of the breadth of Jewish poetic expression available. If you know of collections of poetry useful for including in a siddur, please let me know. In the future, I hope to add a list of the specific poems I continue to use (if not, due to copyright concerns, their actual texts).
The Jewish Left
Very little has appeared online that deals with the activities of the Jewish left during the 1960s. I try to make up for that lack here by reporting on what I did with my peers in the Los Angeles area. All of this material, and more, will be available at appropriate archives soon.
- The Hurvitz Family's Yom Kippur Leaflet calling for an end to the war in Vietnam (1966).
The leaflet (printed on white paper (the color of the scan is not true)) was distributed outside of a number of synagogues in Los Angeles following Yom Kippur services 5727 (1966).
the text; a scan of the front of the leaflet; a scan of the back of the leaflet.
"Mom" Faye Hurvitz has been distributing the leaflet once again due to the current (Autumn 2004) political situation in the U. S. in relation to the war in Iraq. It has received nods of recognition for its prescience.
- Some thoughts about Abraham Joshua Heschel on the 25th anniversary of his death.
- The Conference on Jewish Action held May 9-11, 1969 which served as the organizing meeting of the Jewish Radical Community of Los Angeles.
- Thoughts about the commonality of the struggles of Blacks (African Americans) and Jews during the period. A couple of leaflets of the Jewish Radical Community on the subject:
- American Oppression Divides Black and Jew; the first leaflet of the Jewish Radical Community of Los Angeles (January 5, 1970).
- A comparison of the struggles of Soviet Jewish Prisoner of Conscience Boris Kochubiyevsky and Black Panther Bobby SealeFree Boris Free Bobby; the eighth leaflet of the Jewish Radical Community of Los Angeles (August 7, 1970).
- The text of the People's Peace Treaty distributed by the Jewish Radical Community of Los Angeles. And scans of the pamphlet that accompanied it: The front; the back; supporting materials inside poetry; the a Torah-based case against the war by Rabbi Moshe Adler; continued; and The Vietnam War and the Needs of the Jewish Community.
I edit and print a Haggadah every year (and have done this for the past 20 or so). This year (5757), for the second year, I have updated and taken much (if not most) of the printed version and posted it here. This version differs from the printed version in a variety of ways. The electronic version can change at any time. You can read it both linearly and hypertextually. The hypertext links connect various parts of the Haggadah and they also lead out from the Haggadah to the rest of the WWW. The printed version is static and only changes annually. I designed it for linear reading at the Seder.
The Haggadah (the 5756 edition) was written up in "Judaism on the Web" by Irving Green, 1997, MIS:Press, New York.
I collect here some personal attempts to respond.
- Commemoration event (1970 Los Angeles, California) In 1970, the war
in Vietnam still raged. Many young Jews in the Los Angeles area organized
a group called the Jewish Radical Community. They planned an event to commemorate
the Sho'a and call attention to the fact that the United States had not
signed the International Genocide Convention. I prepared the leaflet for
the event. The design is, in a sense, in inversion of the flag of the State
of Israel. I spent many hours getting to know the young boy in the picture,
- Greetings "from the 'youth'" offered at the annual "Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising" commemoration event sponsored by the Jewish Federation-Council
of Greater Los Angeles, April 18, 1971, at Temple Israel of Hollywood.
(First published in Davka Volume 1, Number 4; Summer 1971.)
- Davka Portfolio "Thirty Years After the World Vanished" (1973)
Many years ago I had the opportunity (responsibility/honor) of editing
a journal for Jewish youth (students) called Davka. Students put
posters on the walls of their apartments. Most often these posters had
no Jewish content, and when they did, it was of a commercial or strictly
political nature. We decided to produce a portfolio of reproductions of
real art, suitable for framing, that would sell at a reasonable price ($10.00!).
- Maror (1988 - 1995 Haggadah)
- Maror (1997 Haggadah)
- Rachmanut (1997) Many people begin to get impatient with those whose
only response to their Jewishness is via the Sho'a. I'd like us to show
a bit of "rachmones" for them.
- Sho'a Nightmares (1998) 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?
I don’t do much with the visual arts. However, I enjoy taking photographs and I make an annual Rosh haShannah Greeting card.
- A sampling of some photographs I've taken appear here.
- Since 1996 I have used a week of my summer (usually at camp (Swig or Newman)) to produce a linoleum block (or other visual). Each block represents a verse (usually) from the book of Psalms and becomes a mini visual midrash.
I collect them here for your viewing pleasure.
© Mark Hurvitz
Last modified November 11, 2006