Archive by Author

Galilee Diary: Civic Duty



Jews in Israel are given the opportunity to bring economic, social and political issues into the center of their religious consciousness. The moral quality of the army, social and economic disparities and deprivations, the exercise of power moderated by moral sensitivities, attitudes toward minorities, foreign workers, the stranger, tolerance and freedom of conscience – all […]

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Galilee Diary: Headgear



We light these candles on account of the miracles and the wonders, the victories and the redemption that You performed for our ancestors in those days at this season. –Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony The Shabbat preceding the first candle of Hanukkah was rainy, and by the end we were a bit stir-crazy, so after the candles burned […]

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Galilee Diary: In My Back Yard



I created you, and appointed you a covenant people, a light of nations – opening eyes deprived of light, rescuing prisoners from confinement, from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. -Isaiah 42:6-7 The shortest route from Shorashim to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is via Rt. 784, a busy two-lane country road that winds south […]

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Galilee Diary: Behind Bars



Rabbi Elazar…encountered a very ugly man… and said to him, “How ugly you are! Is everyone in your town as ugly as you?” The man answered, “I don’t know, but go tell the artist who made me what an ugly vessel He created.” Rabbi Elazar …prostrated himself before the man and begged for forgiveness. -Babylonian […]

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Galilee Diary: Cycles



So long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night – shall not cease. -Genesis 8:22 Every year, as the school year opens and the High Holy Days and Sukkot pass, we arrive, at last, at the long awaited but somewhat dreaded “after the holidays,” when all […]

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Galilee Diary: Demography/demagoguery



And the angel of the Lord said to [Hagar], “I will greatly increase your offspring, and they shall be too many to count…Behold you are with child and shall bear a son; you shall call him Ishmael, for the Lord has paid heed to your suffering.  He shall be a wild ass of a man; […]

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Galilee Diary: Dig we mustn’t



Abraham accepted Ephron’s terms. Abraham paid out to Ephron the money that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites – four hundred shekels of silver at the going merchants’ rate… And then Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre – now Hebron – in the […]

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Galilee Diary: Summertime



On that occasion…Joshua addressed the Lord…: “Stand still, O sun, at  Gibeon, O moon, in the Valley of Ayalon!”  …Thus the sun halted in midheaven, and did not press on to set, for a whole day; for the Lord fought for Israel. -Joshua 10:12-14 Once again this year, on the Saturday night before Yom Kippur, […]

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Galilee Diary: Booths



Spread over us the sukkah of Your peace. Blessed are You O Lord, who spreads out a sukkah of peace over us, over the entire people Israel, and over Jerusalem. -from the evening service In the old country, that spacious land of garages and basements, we always had a serious sukkah, interchangeable panels of masonite […]

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Galilee Diary: One People



…He will bring you together again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. -Deuteronomy 30:3-4 For most of my 22 years at Shorashim, the […]

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Galilee Diary: Uncertainty Principle



How did they examine the witnesses? The pair that arrived first they examined first. And they brought in the elder of the two and said to him: Relate how you saw the moon: in front of the sun or behind the sun? To the north of it or to the south of it? How high […]

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Galilee Diary: All Our Children



From [the prophets] I learned the niggardliness of our moral comprehension, the incapacity to sense the depth of misery caused by our own failures… The more deeply immersed I became in the thinking of the prophets, the more powerfully it became clear to me … that in regard to cruelties committed in the name of […]

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Galilee Diary: Interfaith II



And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the Israelite people saying: When any of you or of your posterity who are defiled by a corpse or are on a long journey [on the date of Passover, the 14th of the first month] would offer a Passover sacrifice to the Lord, they shall offer […]

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Galilee Diary: Interfaith



I think the Jewish question is no more a social than a religious one, notwithstanding that it sometimes takes these and other forms. It is a national question, which can only be solved by making it a political world-question to be discussed and settled by the civilized nations of the world in council. -Theodore Herzl, […]

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