Mourning my morning minyan

I would like to share an important aspect of my Jewish life with you, which is primarily (but not exclusively) representative of traditionally religious N. American Ashkenazi Jewish communities. This slice of my Jewish culture is known as the Shabbat morning kiddush. Essentially, the Shabbat morning kiddush is a social phenomenon, which takes place at… Continue reading Mourning my morning minyan

More skeptic than kaddish

During my first year of mourning, as I recited the kaddish on a daily basis, exploring and reflecting upon this famous Jewish doxology, I had neither the time nor the bandwidth to do justice in my writings to all that I was learning and pondering. Among the many tidbits that I omitted was the following:… Continue reading More skeptic than kaddish

Hey, look at me! I’m honoring Papa!

My second annual kiddush on Shabbat in memory of Papa was a success. Our early morning prayer community isn't very big (because not a lot of people like waking up so early on Saturdays), and therefore our kiddushes are intimate affairs of twenty to thirty people. By those metrics, the attendance on Saturday was great.… Continue reading Hey, look at me! I’m honoring Papa!

Hosting kiddush for Papa’s 2nd yahrzeit

I can use big words and use them well, but I'm also a childish creature and feel that the quality of my writing often conceals my smallness. Papa's 2nd yahrzeit (anniversary of death) is just around the corner. The official Hebrew date falls out on July 16th - next Thursday. This coming Shabbat morning (July… Continue reading Hosting kiddush for Papa’s 2nd yahrzeit

Absence makes

My friend Zvi's recent, unexpected death shocked me, perhaps all the more so because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Counterintuitive, right? After all, death is all the rage in the news these days. (Death, death, death... I'm actually sick of writing about it but can't seem to get it out of my system.) I derive… Continue reading Absence makes

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 50

Papa's first yahrzeit fell out on the Shabbat before last. So... what did marking this date change for me? * * * Some things are inevitable. Even before learning anything meaningful or interesting about the orphan's kaddish, I knew that I would attend minyan every day to recite it for Papa. I also knew that this… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 50

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 48

I am no longer a "mourner" according to tradition, but am I no longer mourning? This is beyond me. Can one truly mourn forever, or does mourning inevitably decay into normalcy? Less than one Hebrew month remains until my father's first yahrzeit, thirteen months since his heart stopped for the second time at the hospital.… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 48

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 38

My friend Dave from my beloved Shabbat early morning minyan stopped me recently. "I won't be in Israel for your father's yahrtzeit kiddush. I'm sorry." I blinked. My father's first yahrtzeit isn't until the end of July (four months away), and other than a passing mention (blog #7) in my writing, I haven't spoken much of it to… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 38