#blogexodus : freedom — braiding three strands

a braid of three strands

There are many pos­si­ble modes for under­stand­ing the events retold in the Pesach Hag­gadah.

Of these, three are braid­ed togeth­er so that, if we con­cen­trate exclu­sive­ly on any one of them, we dimin­ish the spe­cial qual­i­ties of the entire sto­ry.

By par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sym­bol­ic actions built into the order of the Seder,
we […]

#blogexodus : slavery — shapes, colors, sounds

shapes, col­ors and sounds of slav­ery
make room in your haggadah/seder for the youngest:

what words, shapes, col­ors and sounds do you imag­ine when you think of slav­ery?

#blogexodus : (learning from) the signs

the signs

We each need to learn dif­fer­ent things at dif­fer­ent stages of our lives.

Pharaoh was unwill­ing to release his labor sup­ply.

Pharaoh thought him­self a god. He believed he could do what­ev­er he want­ed to with indi­vid­u­als or entire peo­ples. He need­ed to learn the dif­fi­cult les­son: there exists a Source of Pow­er beyond the self.

A series of […]

how do I cleanse my life of chametz?

rab­bi meir shmuel ben tzip­po­rah v’nechemia hale­vi [ר‘משבצונה“ל] teach­es:

Judith came in from the fields where it appeared as though the whole com­mu­ni­ty was out har­vest­ing the new grain crop. The rains had ceased and the ground had dried enough to enable them to walk through the plants and col­lect the ripened sheaves. The stone house […]

#blogexodus : getting beyond the straits and narrow

how could so many peo­ple leave at one time?

Amaz­ing­ly, in our own day we have already for­got­ten that “Hun­dreds of thou­sands of… refugees streamed home­ward…” [Rwan­dan refugees; James C. McKin­ley Jr. of The New York Times in the Los Ange­les Dai­ly News. Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 16, 1996.] Refugees all over the world seek shel­ter and com­fort.

And […]

promise of dawn

hashachar

dark morn­ings

As the north­ern hemi­sphere moves deep­er into win­ter with less light for each day, our morn­ings begin near dawn. This is a beau­ti­ful time of begin­nings and promise. While the sounds we hear each morn­ing are not those of birds chirp­ing and chil­dren learn­ing, but the clank­ing of men at work, even these call out […]

time for pruning

the days grow short, the moon fills and begins to wane.

The date clus­ters hang ready.
Come with me to the oasis.
The late sum­mer har­vest has begun.
I sort the fruit of my past year’s labor.

The fruit is full and sweet.
I look back on my year’s efforts with sat­is­fac­tion.

The time for prun­ing has come.
Much dross weighs down my […]

elul comes every year

prepar­ing for my beloved

As we begin Elul, the month before Rosh haShan­nah, prepa­ra­tions for the new year start.

blow­ing sho­far

As I wrote last year (August 20, 2009) at this time, the Hebrew word אלול is con­sid­ered an acronym for the phrase from the Song of Songs: 6:3a…

אני לדודי ודודי לי = I am my beloved’s, and […]

Let My People Go (Отпусти народ мой) [that they may serve me]!

a grow­ing hag­gadah

A new edi­tion of A Grow­ing Hag­gadah (which is still avail­able in its 2005 HTML ver­sion) has been print­ed. 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 Grow­ing Hag­gadah […]

steve’s song

jews and judaism in amer­i­can elite cul­ture .01

On Sun­day evening, Novem­ber 8, 2009 I attend­ed “Steve Reich Talks about his Jew­ish Music at JMF”. I was a bit sur­prised (after being told to reserve my free tick­ets in advance) that there were per­haps fifty peo­ple in the hall wait­ing to hear the words of this very […]