beyond the straits and narrow

a grow­ing hag­gadah

We print­ed a pri­vate new edi­tion of A Grow­ing Hag­gadah last year for per­son­al use. We will use it again this year. If you are inter­est­ed in hav­ing a PDF ver­sion of the text to print and use (in whole or in part) at your Seder you can down­load it here:

A Grow­ing Hag­gadah (for fam­i­ly use)
A […]

the new year; traveling for chocolate… and much more

Switzer­land was actu­al­ly “Plan B”

We had hoped to get to Fire Island (Long Island) at The Pines for Rosh haShan­nah to be with a col­league and at the beach. How­ev­er, because “the sea­son” at The Pines was still going strong, the two estab­lish­ments where we tried to book rooms could not com­mit, bare­ly even return­ing our […]

pirkei imahot

I am not the first to use the phrase, but begin­ning on March 15, 2000 I began a file in which I col­lect­ed our moth­er’s say­ings. I will peri­od­i­cal­ly share them here. One of her pri­ma­ry expres­sions was:

if you can’t say any­thing nice about some­one,
don’t say it

It’s that sim­ple.

Our moth­er was not a learned per­son. Though she grad­u­at­ed near the […]

Hiroshima 広島市 Day Again (may we have many)

Last year at this time I wrote about the “MAD“ness of nuclear arma­ments. In essence:

There does not seem to be much val­ue in hav­ing nuclear weapons.

They may exist for a MAD (Mutu­al­ly Assured Destruc­tion) pur­pose. And yet, many peo­ple tell me that Israel’s ene­mies don’t care about MAD, because they (as well as dis­pen­sa­tion­al­ist Chris­tians) believe that […]

the electronic leaflet

from prayer­book to leaflet

I have been involved in writ­ing and dis­trib­ut­ing leaflets at least since 1966 when our fam­i­ly com­posed a leaflet [text] we dis­trib­uted in front of our con­gre­ga­tion’s Yom Kip­pur obser­vance call­ing atten­tion to the war in Viet­nam.

The Hurvitz Fam­i­ly’s Yom Kip­pur Leaflet call­ing for an end to the war in Viet­nam […]

מזל טוב

queen city of the west

When Deb­bie and I decid­ed to con­tin­ue our rab­binic stud­ies at the Cincin­nati, Ohio cam­pus of HUC-JIR rather than at the New York cam­pus, a num­ber of our friends made fun of us. They joked that we’d spend all our time in rock­ing chairs on the porch of our apart­ment. We actu­al­ly had […]

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 […]

The People of the…

We have been called a Peo­ple of the Book for near­ly 1400 years. We did not invent the term. It was giv­en to us (as well as to Chris­tians) by our cousins the Mus­lims. Nonethe­less, even as our tech­nolo­gies move us beyond the phys­i­cal book, the text remains. We return to the text that has served […]

Elul Homework 2 (I've done that too!)

con­fir­ma­tion and ver­i­fi­ca­tion

Some­times we think that we are the only per­son who has done such ter­ri­ble things to oth­ers. It can be lib­er­at­ing and for­giv­ing for us, and those oth­ers like us, to learn that we are not alone. It also often feels good to have oth­ers “sign off” on rec­og­niz­ing that we may have […]

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 […]