Category Archives: Holidays

“I” Witness – The Song At The Sea

A fierce wind plowed the sea, piling a wall of water to either side of a seabed blown dry. Miraculously, there was stable footing for weary slaves—notwithstanding the wind that the sea itself could not withstand. Wind, walls of water, … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Parshat HaShavuah, Passover, Poetry, Torah | Leave a comment

Slowly, And In Our Days

In a fiery chariot that rose towards heaven, Elijah disappeared from ordinary view and broke into Jewish religious imagination—now appearing at just the right moment, to prompt, protect, and provoke us to deepen ordinary events into Elijah Moments. As a … Continue reading

Posted in Elijah, Holidays, Passover | Leave a comment

How Deep? How High?

How much do I love you? I’ll tell you no lie. How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky? Irving Berlin wrote the song, How Deep Is the Ocean? in 1932. It consists mainly of rhetorical questions that point … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Midrash, Passover, Poetry, Torah | Leave a comment

The Binding Of God

To my mind’s eye, Rabbi Berechiah appeared stoop-shouldered and mournful on Rosh Hashanah as he listened to the Torah reader recite Genesis 22, The Binding of Isaac. Berechiah, a 4th century sage of the land of Israel, was pained by … Continue reading

Posted in Days of Awe, Holidays, Midrash, Poetry, Torah | 1 Comment

The Eleventh And Twelfth Commandments: Don’t Change! Change!

My father was God and didn’t know it.  He gave me the ten commandments neither in thunder nor in fury, neither in fire nor in cloud but in gentleness and in love. He added caresses and added kind words adding, … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | 2 Comments

Leavening On Our Shelves And In Ourselves

Every year, several weeks before Passover, my personal search for leaven begins in a way that is more symbolic than actual. I approach my bookshelves where there are many books that have served their rising, yeasty purposes and are now … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Midrash, Passover, Poetry | 1 Comment

Blossoms of Seder Night, Fruits of New Year’s Day

Rabbi Eliezer was sure that the world was created in the fall month of Tishrei, the season of the New Year. His rival, Rabbi Joshua, was equally positive that the world was created at Passover time, in the spring month … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Passover, Poetry, Talmud | 1 Comment

Heaven, Holiness, And Harmony

On erev Yom Kippur, 1990, the heavens broke open over kibbutz Bet Hashita. In the moment, after the singing, no one spoke; no one wanted to leave. Later, individual recollections of heaven, holiness, and harmony seemed woven into one story, … Continue reading

Posted in Days of Awe, Holidays | 2 Comments

The Middle Of The Story And The Story Of The Middle

On the Torah page, the miracle of Passover’s seventh day comes into view. The Torah page literally pictures Israel crossing the sea—glistening black letters against sea foam parchment.  The words are inscribed according to the script: Look! There are the people … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Midrash, Passover, Poetry | Leave a comment

Before and Within

A strange Yom Kippur story was told by Rabbi Ishmael, a High Priest of the 2nd Temple: Once, I entered before and within (the Holy of Holies) to offer the incense and I saw Akatriel Yah, the Lord of Hosts, sitting on … Continue reading

Posted in Blessing, Days of Awe, Holidays, Poetry, Talmud | Leave a comment