Posts Tagged ‘ Sonoma ’

#oldpunksneverdie

2017.07.11
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Never thought I’d hear Safeway’s in-house music channel play “London Calling” this morning. But I sang along with it anyway.

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Haiku for Uncertain Weather

2012.01.31
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Slate-thin clouds cover
shoulders that lately knew sun.
Make up your mind, God.

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Torah Study: Going, Going, Ain’t Gone Yet

2011.11.04
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OUR TORAH PORTION THIS WEEK begins with God’s famous exhortation to Abram, “Lech Lecha — Go for yourself from your land … I will bless you and make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”

What does that mean, to be a blessing? Rashi says it’s an investment in Abraham of God’s power to bless, to pass along the Divine influence for growth and attainment. According to the Etz Chayim chumash, it means “to serve as the exemplar by which a blessing is invoked.” Rabbi Samson Hirsch, however, sees it as a commandment: to receive the divine rewards, one must live so as to be a blessing to the world.

Perhaps it also means to live in such a way as see the Divine in every moment — to bear witness, however unlikely it may seem, to the action of God as context for our lives (to paraphrase R’ Jack Gabriel). To be a blessing is to sanctify everything within reach — and to learn to extend that reach by joining hands with others. After all, we can’t do it alone!

Neal & Ann’s Torah Study
Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011: 10 am-noonish (RSVP)
Torah Portion: Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27-41:16

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Windstorm Stylist

2011.11.03
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Scary loud gusts brush
From the trees’ green-flowing hair
Stray twigs and branches.

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Autumn Sunday

2011.09.25
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ELEVEN A. M.,
September the twenty-fifth –
Rain hits Sonoma.

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Torah Study: Rewrite

2011.09.23
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Among its other directives, Torah contains the seeds of its own begetting — each of us is instructed to write a Torah scroll for ourselves. In that spirit, I would paraphrase one of this week’s verses to say “Torah is not in heaven, for you to say, ‘Who will ascend and get it for us?’ It is not over the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea and get it for us?’ No, the matter is very near to you — two blocks south of Sonoma Plaza and hang a left on most Saturdays — to do it.”

That would, of course, include tomorrow. We’ll leave the light on for you.

Be well, happy autumn, and Shabbat shalom!

Neal & Ann’s Torah Study
Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, 10 am-noonish (RSVP)
Torah Portion: Netzavim-Vayeilech (Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30)
Haftarah: Isaiah 61:10-63:9

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Our Labor Day Message

2011.09.05
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Fig. 1.

“WORKERS OF THE WORLD, RELAX.”

(And for everyone else: who made your stuff? Who brought or sold it to you? Are you grateful? Then thank a worker. They seem to be an endangered species.)

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Love to a Cat

2011.09.02
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HAD I NOT BEEN SWIFT,
He would have brought the rat in.
It’s the thought that counts.

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Torah Study: Books Within Books

2011.09.02
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IN THE OHLONE WAY, AUTHOR Malcolm Margolin relates the following story-about-stories asking one of his Native American sources about a particular tribal song:

“He thought for a bit and then replied that if I wanted to know what the words meant, he’d be glad to translate them for me. But if I was asking what the song meant, that was different. A song, he explained, carries much more meaning than just its words. Read more »

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An Erev Shabbat Invitation

2011.08.26
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YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO attend tonight’s Erev Shabbat service at Sonoma’s Congregation Shir Shalom, 252 W. Spain St., which service I am both grateful and privileged to lead. Services begin at 7:30 p.m. PDT and will be followed by an oneg Shabbat. (If you’d like to attend an informal Saturday morning Torah study, please RSVP.) Shabbat shalom!

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Torah Study: Worshipful Wordplay

2011.08.19
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THERE ONCE WAS A RABBI who was so lost in his studies that when the congregation called on him to deliver a sermon for that week’s Torah portion he didn’t know which one it was. Undaunted, he stepped to the bimah and said:

“A sermon should be true, from the heart, and based on the weekly Torah portion. I do not know which portion is this week’s reading from our holy Torah. This is true, I am sorry from my heart, but it is all that I can say about the portion. Amen.”

This week’s portion is Eikev. It means “heel” and “because.” So “because” we’ve all had a tough week, you are cordially invited to help “heel” yourself by studying Torah with us tomorrow morning. This is true, it is from my heart, and I hope to say more about it when I see you.

Shabbat shalom,

Neal.

Neal & Ann’s Torah Study
Saturday, August 20, 2011, 10 am-noonish (RSVP)
Torah Portion: Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)
Haftarah: Isaiah 49:14-51:3

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Torah Study: Deutero Is The Best Nomy

2011.08.05
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THIS WEEK BEGINS THE TALE of Moses, and his five-week testimonial to the nascent nation of Israel.

Unlike the Torah’s first four books, tradition ascribes Deuteronomy strictly to Moses’ hand. Like the second creation story in Genesis, the Moses-eye view of the Egyptian Experience and Sinai Event differs somewhat from the first account in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers: most famously, in the wording of the Fourth Commandment and the “guard/remember Shabbat” dichotomy. I like to think that’s deliberate, to encourage us to think instead of blindly obey. It’s certainly part of a pattern.
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Recent Tales

Prosatio Silban and the Starving Survivor

A BUOPOTH IS A STRANGE beast: some say it is half-composed of men’s dreams, others prefer not to speculate. But of the little that...

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Prosatio Silban and the Visitor From The Sands

PROSATIO SILBAN WAS NOT KNOWN for nothing as “The Cook For Any Price.” He had long ago foresworn the Sacreanthood and serving people’s souls...

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The Poet

HE COULDN’T TELL WHETHER HE loved beauty or women more until the day he called his mom and said “Guess what? I’m marrying a...

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Storyteller’s Knot

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF any story is the point at which it’s attached to the reader.

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Thumbs Up

THE PACK ON YOUR BACK is both reassuring and cumbersome for what seems the third hour of shadeless noon as you think, “This one...

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