The happiness of the Torah, or: Feh!

A Choka festive holiday Jews dance with the Torah scroll I stand to the side when I attend on my own else remain at home some literally kiss the scroll blissful faces shine concentric circles of Jews expressions of love how to encourage my child to love traditions I find alienating ancient traditions tie our… Continue reading The happiness of the Torah, or: Feh!

Ten Commandments, or: Ten Utterances

My 1st Tetractys In Jewish tradition the Decalogue is referred to as 'Ten Utterances'. Indeed, 'Ten Utterances', rather than 'Ten Commandments'... Principles to live by. To refer to these as 'Ten Commandments' dismisses the rest of God's Torah Law. Six hundred and thirteen is the number of commandments Judaism's said to have. At Sinai, an… Continue reading Ten Commandments, or: Ten Utterances

HaShem, or: Elohim

She deserves a poem true Her faithfulness confuses me Just yesterday after pre- school I'd picked her up -my pup- she spoke with such indignity about a friend -a six-year- old- who wrote God's name and "put an 'X'" "Do you mean she crossed it out?" "Yes and said her fam- ily does not believe,… Continue reading HaShem, or: Elohim

Ethical will: Loving-kindness

In composing my ethical will, I usually find myself resistant to including entries that should, according to my sensibilities, be self-evident. That's not to say that I personally exemplify any of these self-evidently positive traits; rather, it is to say that I wish I did. On the other hand, my ethical will is, by default,… Continue reading Ethical will: Loving-kindness

Ethical will: Patience

What do we remember of our departed loved ones? In speaking to other mourners, I have noticed that people's recollections of their deceased loved ones differ widely. Some people seem to remember only the most loving and tender of moments, whereas others recall a wider range of experiences. (I've also met widows who only spoke… Continue reading Ethical will: Patience

Ethical will: Truth

Following my previous 'ethical will' entry on 'listening' and the profoundly divisive aftermath of the 2020 U.S. Presidential elections, which once again reveals a country broken jaggedly in half, I've been thinking a lot about the pervasive lack of trust that has come to typify today's global politics. Yes, we must listen to one another… Continue reading Ethical will: Truth

Ethical will: Listening

We find ourselves on the eve of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, and voices across the world on both ends of the political spectrum are declaring that all we know as humankind will come to a devastating end if their preferred candidates don't win. What befuddles me is that I personally know well-intentioned and well-educated… Continue reading Ethical will: Listening

Ethical will: Impartiality

Judgmentalism has always come easily to me.-Me, 'The Skeptic's Kaddish 45', May 30, 2019 During my kaddish journey following Papa's death, I struggled with being judgmental of myself. In fact, this was one of the primary impetuses behind that yearlong writing project... Frankly, I had been feeling FAKE by going through the motions of communal… Continue reading Ethical will: Impartiality