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…

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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?”).

Jewish Book of the Dead

Was there a Jew­ish “Book of the Dead”?

I under­stand that the (then) Union of Amer­i­can Hebrew Con­gre­ga­tions (in par­tic­u­lar the Depart­ment of Jew­ish Fam­ily Con­cerns) wass begin­ning to work on tools (pro­grams, etc.) to help baby-boomers get­ting older.

I think, it’s time to start think­ing about how we die.

I’m con­vinced that there are texts buried in Psalms (per­haps else­where) that are “pas­sage way” read­ings. What I mean by this is that they can be (per­haps were by our ances­tors) used to help the dying indi­vid­ual approach the moment of death. I am aware of many books writ­ten in the past ten years for the sur­vivors of death.


I want a text/book (or per­haps a text-book) that will help me (per­haps let’s start with my 89 year old mother) approach and han­dle my own death.

So, what’s one of these texts?

I real­ized one evening after weeks of vis­it­ing a par­tic­u­lar gen­tle­man in the hos­pi­tal that he was not going to get out of there ver­ti­cal. I found I was able to comfort/calm him a bit by softly singing. Two Car­lebach melodies came to mind. Two dif­fer­ent Psalms: Esa Einai and Pitchu Li. Esa Einai made me feel like I (he) was going to get out, with some help.

Pitchu Li, which until then I had always sung very up-beat. But, that evening, soft and quiet, the words came out beseech­ingly. I had an “ah hah!” moment.

I’ve men­tioned this idea to a num­ber of peo­ple involved in Jew­ish “heal­ing” who lis­ten politely. I’ve men­tioned it as a pos­si­ble rab­binic the­sis to rab­binic stu­dents who con­tact me at Nisus for tech sup­port. Nobody’s picked up on the idea.

Can we do a read­ing of Psalms that searches for “gates” look­ing for a way of inter­pret­ing these gates not as phys­i­cal gates to a city, but spir­i­tual pas­sage­ways to another “realm”?