January 16, 2012 Leave a comment
On what being Jewish means now to people my age in many circumstances:
We never fail when we try to do our duty, we always fail when we neglect to do it.
April 27, 2011 Leave a comment
What is an eruv? It’s a part of Jewish law that even many Jews do not understand. A little over a month ago, Jon Stewart did a clip about them that is hilarious! Definitely worth watching and sharing. I saw this during Passover, but didn’t have a chance to share it until now. Take a look:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Wyatt Cenac breaks God’s rules without causing controversy by wearing an eruv hat. Airdate – 03/23/11
January 9, 2011 Leave a comment
I like many of Debbie Friedman’s songs. They were a major part of my camp days and still are prevalent at Hillel.
(JTA) — Debbie Friedman, a popular singer and songwriter who is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music, has died.
Friedman died Sunday after being hospitalized in Southern California for several days with pneumonia. She was in her late 50s.
“Debbie influenced and enriched contemporary Jewish music in a profound way,” read a statement published Sunday on the website of the Union for Reform Judaism. “Her music crossed generational and denominational lines and carved a powerful legacy of authentic Jewish spirituality into our daily lives.”
Friedman brought a more folksy, sing-along style to American congregations. In 2007 she was appointed to the faculty of the Reform movement’s cantorial school in a sign that her style had gained mainstream acceptance.
She is best known for her composition “Mi Shebeirach,” a prayer for healing that is sung in many North American congregations.
Friedman released more than 20 albums and performed in sold-out concerts around the world at synagogues, churches, schools and prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall. She received dozens of awards and was lauded by critics worldwide.
“Debbie Friedman was an extraordinary treasure of our movement and an individual of great influence,” said Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism. “Twenty-five years ago, North American Jews had forgotten how to sing. Debbie reminded us how to sing, she taught us how to sing. She gave us the vehicles that enabled us to sing. Then she impacted our youth and our camps and, ultimately, from there she impacted our synagogues.
“What happens in the synagogues of Reform Judaism today — the voices of song — are in large measure due to the insight, brilliance and influence of Debbie Friedman.”
September 16, 2010 Leave a comment
One of my favorite poems of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur is the Unetanneh Tokef, which includes the ever powerful “On Rosh HaShanah it is inscribed and on Yom Kippur it is sealed” – driving home the point that what we do now really does matter. Read the words below and reflect on their awesome meaning. I am hoping only for the best.
בְּראשׁ הַשָּׁנָה יִכָּתֵבוּן וּבְיום צום כִּפּוּר יֵחָתֵמוּן כַּמָּה יַעַבְרוּן וְכַמָּה יִבָּרֵאוּן מִי יִחְיֶה וּמִי יָמוּת. מִי בְקִצּו וּמִי לא בְקִצּו מִי בַמַּיִם. וּמִי בָאֵשׁ מִי בַחֶרֶב. וּמִי בַחַיָּה מִי בָרָעָב. וּמִי בַצָּמָא מִי בָרַעַשׁ. וּמִי בַמַּגֵּפָה מִי בַחֲנִיקָה וּמִי בַסְּקִילָה מִי יָנוּחַ וּמִי יָנוּעַ מִי יִשָּׁקֵט וּמִי יִטָּרֵף מִי יִשָּׁלֵו. וּמִי יִתְיַסָּר מִי יֵעָנִי. וּמִי יֵעָשֵׁר מִי יִשָּׁפֵל. וּמִי יָרוּם וּתְשׁוּבָה וּתְפִלָּה וּצְדָקָה מַעֲבִירִין אֶת רעַ הַגְּזֵרָה
On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed and on Yom Kippur it is sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be born into it; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted. But repentance, prayer, and good deeds can remove the severity of the Decree!”
Gemar Chatimah Tovah! May we all be sealed in the Book of Life for good! Have an easy fast!