We’re reading Parashat Tetzaveh this week, known to a friend of mine as the “Fashion Parashah.” In it we learn all about the priestly vestments that Aaron and his sons will wear.
My blog has been wearing the same outfit since 2010, through 618 posts. I woke up today and decided it was time for a new look. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but it is clean and readable and I think it will be friendlier for folks reading via tablet and smartphone. If anything about it is acutely uncomfortable for you, let me know. WordPress is a powerful platform, and I have options.
I have printed Anat Hoffman’s most recent letter in the Israeli Religious Action Center’s weekly email “The Pluralist” because, if you are like me, this will enrage you and inspire you to do something. If so, then please sign the IRAC’s Petition and send this blog to your friends asking them to do the same.
Israel is planning to deport two of its own citizens. Two children, David (14) and Michal (8). Their crime? Their Israeli father died before their non-Jewish mother was naturalized as an Israeli citizen.
Their father, Gershon, spent several years working as an Israeli emissary in Uzbekistan, where he met and fell in love with Valentina. Their first-born son was named David, after Gershon’s father, a Holocaust survivor.
They moved back to Israel and lived near Gershon’s large extended family. Gershon filed the necessary paperwork for Valentina…
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.
Reflections and Lessons from the Havdalah Circle of Boyle Heights
Havdalah at the 6th Street Bridge, overlooking the city. Dare to make anyplace a sacred space! Punk rock Havdalah with Shmueli Gonzales and Jesse Elliott. Los Angeles.
As Shabbat comes to an end, I always make my way back towards the town and people I love. Towards the arches which over the years have become know as my station and post. And leaning against the metal arches of the bridge, high upon the Los Angeles Sixth Street Viaduct, I bask in the final and lingering rays of the Sabbath’s sun. And then I wait. Wait for the sun to set. I wait, for my buddies to count the stars and declare that it’s time. “One… two… three stars… it’s time!”
And then out from my ubiquitous bag I take these items. A Hebrew prayerbook, a dried etrog and clove…
The goal of this blog has been basic information for newcomers and others who may feel awkward in Jewish community. There’s a tremendous amount of information available in books and on the internet, but sometimes it’s too much all at once. I hope that by offering topics in small bites they have been more manageable.
Mixed in with those “basic info” articles are posts about growing Jewish identity and about living a meaningful Jewish life. I am not interested in Judaism as an exercise in historical reinactment. The prospect of Judaism that gives meaning and purpose to real 21st century lives is much more exciting to me.
So here are my questions for you: Which posts have been most helpful or interesting to you? What would you like to read about in 2015? Is there a topic about which you’ve heard “enough already!?”
I wish you a happy secular New Year of growth and bloom!
It’s a boring movie with spectacular special effects. I am not sure what more to say than that – if you don’t know the story, go read the Book of Exodus.
If you have read Exodus, you know that this film departs from the Torah in some significant ways. Unlike The Prince of Egypt or the 1956 version of The Ten Commandments, the writers did not seek their extra material in Jewish midrashic literature. This film focuses on an imagining of the relationship of Moses and Ramses II…
Last week I was invited to speak at Campbell Hall, a large private school in Studio City, Los Angeles, before two hundred and fifty 7th and 8th grade students about the story of Hanukah.
I began by saying that without the success of the Maccabean Revolt in 165 BCE, there would be no Judaism, no Christianity and no Islam today. I then reviewed the traditional story of Hanukah as it comes down to us through Jewish tradition, telling about the heroic battle of the Maccabean family against the Greeks, the Greek desecration of the Temple Mount, the miracle of the oil lasting eight days instead of one, the lighting of the Hanukiah, latkes, and dreidls, and then I said, “Truth to tell, this isn’t the history of this holiday at all. Most of that is story-telling. The real history is far more interesting and important for us today, Jews and…