Tag: arm’s length

Because the word “community” is over-used.

And On, And On

I NEVER MET THEM. BUT I know them. The eleven Jews murdered yesterday as they worshiped at the Tree of Life Congregation near Pittsburgh could be found in any synagogue, including my own: the former congregational president, the lay leader,…

Why I Love: Sonoma

IT’S THE HISTORY. IT’S THE diversity of food, from restaurants to markets to semipermanent food-trucks. It’s the out-of-state license plates ringing the Plaza on weekends. It’s the eight-acre Sonoma Plaza itself: families having picnics, occasional Tai Chi enthusiasts or Morris…

Chosenness as Motivator

ONE OF THE MORE CONTROVERSIAL aspects of traditional Judaism is the idea that “Jews are the Chosen People.” Some (both Jew and non-Jew) take this to mean “superior” in some way (I’m looking at you, Grandma), and use it as…

The Name is Attinson. NEAL Attinson.

MY NAME IS NOT “NEIL ATTISON.” Neither is it “Neale” or “Niall,” “Addison,” “Atkinson,” “Atchison,” or “Adlington.” (I’m still trying to figure that one out.) Despite these cognomenly difficulties, I have no desire to change my name to something more…

Don’t Look Up

OF ALL THE PET PEEVES this modern life offers, one of the most soul-sucking is checking out at the grocery store. I’m specifically talking about the debit-card machine. Time was, you could fill the two-to-three-minute transaction with friendly banter; ask…

Living-Room Torah

INSIDE A MODEST HOME ON Sonoma’s East Side sits our town’s best-kept open Jewish secret. Dubbed the “France Street Shtibbl” (or, for non-Yiddish speakers, the “France Street Beit Midrash (house of study)”), our living room has hosted a semi-monthly (or,…

Wee Little Me

NEAR THE TOP OF THE Beloved Things list are landscapes that make me feel small. Deserts, mountains, beaches, redwood forests, prairies — anything requiring a wide perspective with which to take it all in, and which likewise reminds me of…