King David in Literature

David paintingThis week we are skipping ahead from Bereshit to the story of David to coincide with the next Nourish.  On October 20, Paul Boorstin will be speaking about his book, “David and the Philistine Woman,” a work of historical fiction.

Based on extensive research, Boorstin has created a fast -paced story of the events leading up to David’s confrontation with Israel’s nemesis, the giant Goliath. Continue reading

Constant But Always Fresh

Genesis2018zagerAnd so we begin again…I am constantly amazed that no matter how many times one listens to a Torah reading and discusses it, there is always something new to extract from the text.

Although the text never changes- it is a constant- we change through experience, through aging, through changes in our surrounding, through education, through emotional growth. We are always bringing a new self to the old words.

Continue reading

Treasures or Trash


As I put the library back together, I have found some treasures. Well, maybe treasures for some people but no longer part of the library.

You may have noticed the book cart in the downstairs lobby. The books on it are yours to take. There are books for every age and taste: Jewish books and secular books; new books and used books; fiction and non-fiction.  Continue reading

Honey, Honey, What’s the Best?

Honey 2

On Rosh Hashanah evening, my family sat down to a pretty traditional meal: hallah, gefilte fish, brisket and chicken. (See the recent recipe clumn: New Recipes for the New Year.)

Of course, we dipped apples in honey but with a twist this year. As I looked in my pantry, I found several different kinds of honey. So I thought a honey tasting contest would liven up dinner a bit. Continue reading

A Poem for This Season

"A good anger acted upon is beautiful as lightning and swift with power" Marge Piercy

“A good anger acted upon is beautiful as lightning and swift with power” Marge Piercy

I was looking through old magazines recently as I cleaned out old library materials. You never know what gems you might uncover.

This poem by Marge Piercy is perfect for this time in our Jewish year. Piercy is a poet, novelist and activist.  Her novels and poems have won awards and often focus on feminist and social  issues. While not all her work is overtly Jewish, most show a Jewish sensibility. Continue reading

Two Geniuses

bernstein1On a beautiful August night, the full moon rose over the Shed at Tanglewood as music composed by and for Leonard Bernstein swept through the crowd. Eighteen thousand people had come to celebrate one of America’s greatest creative artists on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Not a cell phone’s ringing nor the flash of an email being answered broke the crowd’s concentration.

The following day at Jacob’s Pillow a smaller crowd of 620 was entranced by the choreography of Jerome Robbins whose centennial is also being observed this year.

Bernstein and robbins3 Continue reading

Pre-Holiday Reading

shofar1We are now in the month of Elul, leading up to the Jewish spiritual New Year. Elul is traditionally a month for introspection culminating a few weeks later on Yom Kippur.

To help you get in the mood of the upcoming holidays and gain some insights, The editors of the Jewish Review of Books have selected 10 previously-published articles that follow the arc of the fall holidays, from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to Sukkot and Simchat Torah, and created a High Holiday Companion ebook.

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We’re Back! Lampert Library is Open.

shelving8After months of anticipation and mounds of boxes waiting to be unpacked, the Lampert Library is again ready for operation.

Thanks to a hard working crew of volunteers, almost all the books were put back on the shelves in a week’s time.  There’s still some adjusting to be done but our library looks like a library again.



Here’s what it looked like as numerous volunteers- including some who were camera shy- sorted and shelved:

shelving 1shelving 2shelving 4shelving 3shelving6shelving5shelving7

Tradition or Traditsye

yidfid3The other night I watched a Channel 13 program about the Jewish influence on Broadway. It is amazing when one realizes how many of the great composers and lyricists of beloved Broadway shows were Jewish and how many shows have a Jewish sensibility.

A new book Devil’s Mile: the rich, gritty history of the Bowery has a chapter called simply “The Jews.”  Yiddish theater began on the Bowery. Seats cost 25 cents and everyone from mothers with their babies to workers and politicians would attend. Continue reading

Tu B’What?

tubav2Tonight (Thursday, July 26) and tomorrow mark Tu B’Av.

What!  You never heard of it?

Tu B’Av may be the best kept secret of a special day on the Jewish calendar.

Not be confused with Tu B’Shevat  or Tisha B’Av, Tu B’Av has its own identity and vibe.

The Fifteenth of Av, coming just about a week after the Ninth of Av, a day of mourning, is almost its polar opposite. Continue reading