Brothers, or: Druthers

My 1st Goliardic verse Shul* was once family; wherein all Jews were brothers Rending hearts before God, He, One; there were no others; We've maintained sense of kin, of siblings, fathers, mothers, Still, communities waned, per most Jews' private druthers * shul = synagogue in Yiddish FYI: Festival of Shavuot (Pentecost) The Jewish festival of… Continue reading Brothers, or: Druthers

Tradition: just do it?

Some axioms for life Once an institution comes into existence, its top priority becomes perpetuating its existence;If an institution achieves its stated goals, it will assign itself new goals in order to justify and perpetuate its continued existence;All religions are institutions. Kaddish: basic logistics There are several different versions of the kaddish prayer (technically, it's… Continue reading Tradition: just do it?

Short story: Comfort (III)

Wait for it... wait for... The tall blonde's thin cotton skirt swished as she walked by the loquat trees not far from the edge of the sidewalk. Behind her the sun continued its descent towards the distant Mediterranean, its beams piercing through the branches. The Star of David hanging from the her tanned neck sparkled.… Continue reading Short story: Comfort (III)

He was supposed to teach her math

I took notice that our 5⅔-year-old was using the word 'half' and the word 'part' interchangeably and decided that the time had come to set her straight on the matter. She's quite bright and loves learning new concepts so it wasn't at all challenging to pique her curiosity. However, she hadn't yet encountered fractions so,… Continue reading He was supposed to teach her math

Keyboard Judaism

When I discovered Orthodox Judaism at the age of eighteen, I experienced it as the meaningful vision for religious Judaism that I had never thought to imagine. Through many of the years that followed, even when I wasn't a practicing Jew, I aspired only to Orthodoxy. I judged myself and others by the standards and… Continue reading Keyboard Judaism

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, 25

Beyond purportedly elevating the soul of one's departed parent to higher metaphysical planes or possibly demonstrating why one's parent deserves to be granted a good fate (blog #11), the kaddish, according to the Talmud, also affects God Himself. In Tractate Brachot 3a, we read the following: בשעה שישראל נכנסין לבתי כנסיות ולבתי מדרשות ועונין יהא שמיה… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 25