Tag: Being Jewishly

Living Judaism with mind, body and all we have.

An Apology to Douglas Rushkoff

In my previous, I made a cutting remark about Douglas Ruskoff’s “Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism.” While my opinion remains that the book is deeply flawed, as noted by, among others, Zeek.net), I didn’t intend to be dismissive. For…

Torah Nerds, Unite!

Some people say that the Torah can only be meaningful if the events depicted therein are true. In other words, if 600,000 people didn’t march through the Sinai Peninsula; if the plagues were just a mythologization of natural disasters; if…

Posse Commentatus

IN THE BEGINNING was the Text. But not for long. The Text – definer and exemplar, authority and comfort, platform and trampoline – was no ordinary collection of words. It spoke of history and possibility, treated miracles as though they…

Der Apikoyrus Rebbe

RABBI AKIVA TATZ IS A turned-on guy whose shiurim (lectures) are ripe with mystic but rational Torah learning. R’Tatz tells a wonderful story about apikorsim (singular “apikorus,” from the Greek “Epicurean;” one who disbelieves the divine origin of Torah and…

Focus: Israel

As the situation in Israel continues to develop, many are turning to the “local papers” for better coverage than that offered by CNN or (grf) the BBC. The following offer in-depth reportage and up-to-the-minute English-language breaking news:– Haaretz (left-leaning)– Arutz…

Message From Beyond

Not all mitzvot turn into ghost stories — but when doing holy work, it’s always a good idea to expect the unexpected. My wife Ann and I are members of the Sonoma County Chevre Kadisha. “Chevre Kadisha” literally means “holy…

Torah of Vigilance

“Pay attention! and be prepared To do it right The Super Thing — the thing That makes you bigger than life.” — Devo, The Super Thing Friends, Tonight marks the beginning of Shavuot, the ancient harvest festival which post-Temple Jewish…

Na(t)ive Torah

Considering that this is how many of us returnees (including myself) came to study Torah in this unannounced-but-nonetheless Golden Age of Judaism, Plotz’ wide-eyed innocence struck a deep chord with me. Perhaps this is one reason why the Torah remains…

Omer’s Where The Art Is

“Meanwhile, we dig.” — Big X (Richard Attenborough), The Great Escape Pesach is over, the last of the matza crumbs have been vacuumed up, and our stomachs have finally returned to normal (or soon will). Now what? When we were…

Feel The Fear

When Ann and I joined the small synagogue in our Northern California town back in 1998, it was with the understanding that we would get involved. Neither of us had been, when we were younger. But especially since 2000, when…

Yids With Lids

A recent poster to soc.culture.jewish.moderated was soliciting opinions from full-time kippa wearers for a paper she’s writing. I contacted her, and submitted the following responses to her questions: : Why do you wear a kippa? I began wearing a kippa…

Fringey Blue

from a pre-Blogger blog Tzitzit under blue jeans feel like nothing, and yet feel like everything. They feel like nothing because the four-cornered cotton garment to which they’re attached is extremely light. I forwent the type which snap or stitch…