Category: Elul

Learning to See

Where one lives plays a crucial role in determining access to opportunity, and learning to see “opportunity” and its effects is an important part of understanding our world and how to pursue justice in it. […]

Word- and Picture-Power

This season reminds us – even if we didn’t have recent events screaming reminders at us – that words, and related mind-pictures have tremendous power.

Grass Roots: a holiday question and memorial reflection

As we approach the high holidays, grass shows up in two haftarah readings. What do these verses tell us in this season of repentance and return? I am pondering. Meanwhile, a recent yahrzeit called to […]

Broken-Heartedness and the Days of Awe

One common, powerful theme of the high holidays is the idea of the broken heart. This is encapsulated prominently in the blowing of the shofar, with its shevarim [shattered] call. (See, e.g., The Shofar as […]

Morning: Blessing, with Echo of Gunshots

How lovely are these tents! not far from housing that has seen better days and housing that has seen too many awful ones. I love the place of Your house, reached through streets collecting cigarette […]

Who Is a Jew and how would the Forward recognize her?

UPDATE, 11/15, 13:36: Both the Jewish Telegraph Agency and the Forward have replaced the original photo with different ones: JTA’s article is now accompanied by a photo of an open Torah held by jacketed arms, […]

Yet More on Psalm 27 (3 of 4)

The close of Psalm 27 — קַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה: חֲזַק, וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ; וְקַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה. Hope in the LORD; strengthen yourself, let your heart take courage, and hope in the Lord [Psalm 27:14] — is often cited […]

More Exploring Psalm 27 (2 of 4)

Psalm 27 includes a powerful “single request,” one that is frequently offered as a song: One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house […]

Exploring Psalm 27 — (1 of 4)

For a little over 200 years, Psalm 27 has been associated with the season of repentance: Some have the custom of reciting this psalm during Days of Awe (10 days), some for the whole month […]

Teshuva in a Half an Inch of Water

Teshuva is a never-ending process because we are always changing and the context of our universe is always shifting….We need multiple opportunities for teshuva because our mistakes and errors change over time, and our circumstances […]