now is the time for change

the month of elul אלול has begun.

Bradley Burston writes:

in Israel, the future can come down to just one night

Actu­al­ly, every­where in the world our future is deter­mined by the actions at each of the moments we live them. Nonethe­less, tonight (Sep­tem­ber 3, 2011) after Shab­bat in Israel: ה אלול תשע“א, peo­ple all over the coun­try are expect­ed to pour out in sup­port of change. I have heard from Jay and know that he and Hila will be there.

tonight; september 3, 2011

i am also one of a mil­lion

J14 PHOTOS: largest protest in Israel’s history.

I am belat­ed­ly pay­ing clos­er atten­tion to what is hap­pen­ing on the streets of Israel in par­tic­u­lar, in rela­tion to the “j14″ move­ment.

In addi­tion to read­ing the var­i­ous Web sites, I will also be pay­ing clos­er atten­tion to the #j14 hash­tag. A num­ber of Twit­ter users are trans­lat­ing Hebrew tweets, or tweet­ing in Eng­lish:

there is always a choice

Over the years I have heard peo­ple tell me that “there is no choice but to….” How­ev­er, that is not the case. We are con­stant­ly faced with forks in the road. I don’t know if I learned the phrase from Dad who would jok­ing­ly say “?א בריירע האב איך”, but I remem­ber often say­ing that “life is a con­tin­u­al process of mak­ing one val­ue judge­ment after anoth­er.”

That was the thought behind the group of Amer­i­can Jews who orga­nized in 1973 [at the time Deb­bie and I were in our first year of our rab­binic stud­ies in Jerusalem]… or in words my friend and col­league R. Ger­ald Serot­ta shared with me recent­ly:

Breira was orga­nized in the sum­mer of 1973 as “A Call to Dis­cus­sion on Israel-Dias­po­ra Rela­tions.” on the Upper West Side by John Ruskay and a few friends. The work­ing com­mit­tee of 10 grad­u­ate stu­dents and new­ly ordained Rab­bi David Saper­stein (whose apart­ment became the office briefly after it moved from the apt. I shared with Ruskay) chose the name Breira in Novem­ber of 1973, fol­low­ing the Yom Kip­pur war as a con­scious effort to use a Hebrew lan­guage name to demon­strate our sense of con­nec­tion to Zion­ism and the Hebrew lan­guage and, of course, a response to Labor Par­ty’s self-jus­ti­fy­ing usage that for Israel, Ein Breira, to what­ev­er action they felt and feel like tak­ing.

יש ברירה | we have choice

I received this but­ton as a gift from Barak Berkowitz with whom I have had no con­tact in approx­i­mate­ly 30 years. I did attend var­i­ous Breira gath­er­ings in Los Ange­les on our return to the States, but I do not recall wear­ing this but­ton.

It is always good to remem­ber that there are choic­es and that if they are not obvi­ous we need to look hard­er. In fact, Libbe tells of meet­ings she attends at which some­one is often “assigned” the task of rep­re­sent­ing “the oth­er”. This could be a point of view not held by all those present, or to inject an idea from “out of the blue” or “out of the box” so that there are always more choic­es than what we may ini­tial­ly imag­ine.


breira (found­ed in the sum­mer of 1973)

Now is the time for turn­ing. Here in the New York area we can feel it in the air as the end of sum­mer approach­es. The word אלול, the name for this month, has a cir­cu­lar and round sound to it. Per­haps we can use this time to help us re-turn and pre­pare to regain a bal­ance rep­re­sent­ed by the equinox in time for תשרי. For this peri­od I have col­lect­ed a vari­ety of mate­ri­als I have online and post­ed them towards the top of the side­bar on the right (for ראש השנה & יום כפור). I hope that a greater turn­ing and true change can hap­pen in Israel and with­in our­selves.

Date: 1973 (or slight­ly lat­er)
Size: 3.7
Pin Form: straight
Print Method: cel­lu­loid


This morn­ing (Sept. 4), I learned, not sur­pris­ing­ly, that Avi­gail also attend­ed.

In addi­tion, I think it’s worth­while adding links to the speech by Daphne Leef, as well as a video of it.

your lapel buttons

Many peo­ple have lapel but­tons. They may be attached to a favorite hat or jack­et you no longer wear, or poked into a cork-board on your wall. If you have any lay­ing around that you do not feel emo­tion­al­ly attached to, please let me know. I pre­serve these for the Jew­ish peo­ple. At some point they will all go to an appro­pri­ate muse­um. You can see all the but­tons shared to date.

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