Empowered Judaism – the opportunity

Why "redemptive"? My wife tells me that I should calm down regarding the school that our daughter will be attending next year. I'm trying to, but I won't be able to get this out of my system unless I hash out my thoughts in writing. This isn't easy for me to write about succinctly because… Continue reading Empowered Judaism – the opportunity

Wherefore ‘ben Alexander’?

Some basics of Jewish names Most Jewish people have Jewish names, which they use in religious contexts, although they do not necessarily go by them in public. Some Jewish names like mine (David) are universal enough, but others do not roll off the gentile tongue so easily. Jewish names are typically of Jewish languages: primarily… Continue reading Wherefore ‘ben Alexander’?

Holiday thoughts, part II: Jewish v. Not

Tonight is New Year's Eve so before I get into the substance of this post, I would like to wish all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year! πŸ₯³ So... New Year's... Growing up in America, this was not a holiday that I marked in any way, shape or form. Truly, I did not… Continue reading Holiday thoughts, part II: Jewish v. Not

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, 36

https://youtu.be/_4vFrZwF3hs Several weeks ago, my four-year-old daughter decided to once again start coming to shul with me on Saturdays for mincha and ma'ariv services. Last autumn, this became impossible for her when daylight savings time ended, as the timing of her afternoon naps wouldn't allow it (blog #22). Now, as the days lengthen steadily, my child has already recommitted to… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 36

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 27

I am better rested. In my wife's and daughter's absence this week, I've permitted myself to sleep in. Instead of my regular 6:30 shacharit minyan, I've taken to attending the 8:30 minyan at a different shul. Two additional hours of daily sleep have been delicious. I've also had more time to simply sit, think, and… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 27

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 26

Children begin by loving their parents; after a time, they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them. ~ Oscar Wilde I am mourning the father I had, and I am mourning the father I didn't have. He had limitations, and I judged him for it. Certainly, my expectations were unrealistic. I saw him as… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 26

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 14

It happened that on Friday evening I was the only mourner in my minyan. Between mincha and the end of ma'ariv on Friday, there are three mourner's kaddishes and one kaddish d'rabbanan (rabbis' kaddish), all of which are the mourners' domain. On this particular Shabbat, they were all exclusively mine. The unexpected force of the congregation's response, 'amein,' to my first… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 14