The Jewish teddy bear

A dozen or so years ago, when I was living in Washington, DC, I had a good friend who taught me a lot about traditional Judaism. I had great fondness and admiration for him. Unlike me, he had been raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, observing Shabbat, keeping kosher, attending weekly prayer services with his… Continue reading The Jewish teddy bear

The incitement of Netanyahu & co.

Understanding today's Israeli political scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55UxLCjHwlc To understand the Israeli political scene, you must understand how traumatized this country's citizenry has been by decades of wars and terror attacks. When people in Israel say "left-wing" or "right-wing", they are referring to the Arab-Israeli conflict, as the above video explains. The failed Oslo Accords, which ultimately… Continue reading The incitement of Netanyahu & co.

Why can’t I be secular?

I find secularism personally compelling I am a member of several Jewish online discussion forums for believers to engage in respectful conversations with those who have lost their faiths. The funny thing is that I fit neither of those two categories. You see, I'm not a believer, but I never gave upon Jewish religious practice… Continue reading Why can’t I be secular?

Great(!) news: a very special school

A major milestone for our Israeli family In Israel, the education system consists of three tiers: primary (grades 1–6), middle school (grades 7–9) and high school (grades 10–12). The major decisions about schooling have to be made for 1st grade and 7th grade. Last December, I wrote about applying to elementary (grade) schools for our daughter who… Continue reading Great(!) news: a very special school

The Sabbath, or: Shabbat

A palinode to: 'Shabbat, or: The Sabbath' Fuck that noise; Sabbath law annoys girls and boys who want toys; They're denied their simple joys; Onus ~ faith destroys d'Verse prompt: Write a palinode A palinode or palinody is an ode or song that retracts or recants a view or sentiment to what the poet wrote in… Continue reading The Sabbath, or: Shabbat

Kaddish for an individual

Jewish tradition: mourning in community Papa died in July of 2018. I started blogging about my journey of mourning (i.e. kaddish) that August. That year was very intensive for me; I produced a great deal of content based upon numerous readings; research; reflections; recollections; conversations; and, yes, prayer. The kaddish, after all, is a prayer.… Continue reading Kaddish for an individual

Half a dozen of the other, or: Jew

Tassels swinging as they walk to the Wall on Saturdays; perhaps not. It depends, you know. Some wear frock coats so you wouldn't know it; plus- tassels probably don't swing much under heavy polyester. I went abroad to teach a group of secular Jews from Russia in Georgia. The country. I wore my skullcap (that's… Continue reading Half a dozen of the other, or: Jew