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 […]

it's very clear

our love is here to stay

While prepar­ing a wed­ding drash for this past week I learned that Ira Gersh­win chan­neled Isa­iah 54:10 in this week’s haf­tarah por­tion.

Isa­iah:

For the moun­tains may move
And the hills be shak­en,
But my loy­al­ty shall nev­er move from you,
Nor My covenant of friend­ship be shak­en

Gersh­win:

In time the Rock­ies may tum­ble,
Gibral­tar may crum­ble,
They’re only made […]

when?

…when­ev­er”

How often have we heard peo­ple respond in this way?

I’m always ready to go out and enjoy life. But, the dai­ly alarm of the sho­far in Elul reminds us to mix those plea­sures, and that time is…

Lena Horne [from notes on the Idel­sohn Society’s blog, to which I can­not link direct­ly] sang this song “Now!,” […]

i love my gay rabbis

con­grat­u­la­tions!

Plain­tiffs have demon­strat­ed by over­whelm­ing evi­dence that Propo­si­tion 8 vio­lates their due process and equal pro­tec­tion rights and that they will con­tin­ue to suf­fer these con­sti­tu­tion­al vio­la­tions until state offi­cials cease enforce­ment of Propo­si­tion 8. Cal­i­for­nia is able to issue mar­riage licens­es to same-sex cou­ples, as it has already issued 18,000 mar­riage licens­es to same-sex cou­ples […]

be תורה

tweet #torah to the top as we gath­er @ sinai

I have been “on” (or using) Twit­ter since Jan­u­ary 2009. I don’t use it much social­ly, but rather edu­ca­tion­al­ly and polit­i­cal­ly. I don’t share where I am, how I’m feel­ing and what I’m eat­ing. I share thoughts about #Torah, #Israel, #Pales­tine, #Gaza, #Iran, #Auschwitz, #Shoa, #Holo­caust, #Jew­ish, #Exo­dus, #Sukkot, #Rab­bi, […]

giving and taking

giv­ing

On May Day, The New York Times pub­lished an arti­cle about how to deter­mine how much mon­ey you should donate, sug­gest­ing that “God Knows”. The arti­cle states that “Amer­i­cans gave away 2.2 per­cent of their per­son­al dis­pos­able income to non­prof­it groups of var­i­ous sorts in 2008”. It reviewed the usu­al amounts sug­gest­ed by var­i­ous “West­ern” […]

how much is any life worth?

redeem­ing pris­on­ers

The val­ue of פדיון שבויים‎ (Pidy­on Shvuy­im, the redemp­tion of pris­on­ers) is very impor­tant in Jew­ish life. Mai­monides states that it takes prece­dence over sup­port­ing the poor or cloth­ing them… because the prob­lems of the cap­tive include those of the poor: being hun­gry, thirsty, unclothed, and they are in dan­ger of their lives.

an entire […]

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 […]

swann song

jews and judaism in amer­i­can pop­u­lar cul­ture .01
now, …with har­vey and sheila!

There was a time, it feels strange to write this… a gen­er­a­tion ago, when being Jew­ish was very “in”. The thing to be in Amer­i­ca. Amer­i­cans con­tin­ue to, even increas­ing­ly, con­vert to Judaism in the 2000s. How­ev­er, back in “The Six­ties” some forms of Jew­ish cul­ture […]

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 […]