Everything Hanukkah

Dec 10 hanukkah-stampIt’s finally here, Hanukkah- a bright spot on the calendar with the flickering candles, the shiny gelt, and the glistening oil for the latkes.

This year, of course, is different. We won’t be sharing as we usually do, but there are lots of things to see and do if you take advantage of the virtual offerings in food, music, art and literature. You can even party online.

And what better time to revive the oldest entertainment around-storytelling: reading aloud as a family. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Facts, Fiction and Other Stuff

molly's pilgrimAs the classic children’s book Molly’s Pilgrim explains, the Pilgrims got the idea of a harvest holiday of Thanksgiving from the Bible. They modeled their day of thanks after Sukkot.  This heart-warming story of Jewish immigrant Molly takes the classic American child’s experience of Thanksgiving and connects it to the Jewish experience. Also available as an Oscar Winning short film (shot in Montclair)  Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen. Find the film on YouTube.

Looking for some meaningful words with which to start your Thanksgiving? Read Are there Jewish Prayers for Thanksgiving from Jewish Boston.    Continue reading

Read, Learn Enjoy

book-check-out-300x128REMINDER: the library is open for borrowing.  There are many new books available as well as great older books for readers of all ages including teens.  Use the online catalog to choose your books; then email the library (email hidden; JavaScript is required)  with your request. The books can be left either in the office or on my porch (open 24/7, address by request). The catalog is very easy to use. There is a link on Shomrei’s home page. Questions or requests: email the librarian at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Continue reading

Other Worlds and Other Times

Lampert libraryIt’s finally over- the election that is. The months of having our ears to the radio and our eyes on the screens for what seems 24/7 have come to a close. Unglue yourself from CNN, FOX, NPR or whatever is your media of choice.

It’s time to pick up a book and escape from politics at least temporarily.

Here’s a group of books new to the Library that will take you to far off places or times or open your mind to new ideas. Continue reading

As the Nights Grow Longer: Good Books with Cookie Chaser

Screenshot 2020-10-22 09.09.41

As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, we will be inside more than ever. Tear your eyes away from the screen and pick up a real book. Most libraries are open for limited in-person visits or at the very least, offer pick-up service.

The synagogue library will pull books for you and leave them in the office. The library is also open for browsing. Please wear your mask, sanitize your hands and put books in the designated basket. Continue reading

October Things to Do

oct 14 Ruth WisseLooking for some ways to fill your time? Here are a few suggestions.

Ruth Wisse, Martin Peretz professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature emerita at Harvard has a series of podcasts and webinars produced by the Tikvah Fund. While you may or may not agree with the organization’s politics, Professor Wisse’s lectures are well worth listening to.  Continue reading

It’s Never Too Late

OSC Sept still watersAt this time of year with the month of Elul behind us and Tishri on its way out,  I often think of my own mortality and relationships that have flourished, struggled or withered away.

My uncle Robert, the last of my father’s generation recently passed away at aged 97. A few months before his death, in January on Shabbat Vayigash he gave a d’var Torah in his synagogue. He linked  the story of Joseph’s revelation of his identity to his brothers and their reconciliation to the longstanding rift between him and one of his daughters. He asked for his daughter’s forgiveness- no discussion, no arguments, no recriminations or explanations. Continue reading

RBG: A Tribute

RBG funeral

On Shabbat/Rosh Hashanah evening when we heard of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, cries of “Oh, No!” rose from the Shabbat/Rosh Hashanah table. We had just moments before been discussing her role in keeping some balance on the Supreme Court and her qualities of maintaining friendships even with those whom she often did not agree.  Continue reading

Additional Things to Make and Do

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Return overdue library books to Shomrei or Aileen’s front porch (no mask needed). Just place the books preferably in a plastic bag into the marked box on the front porch. 204 Park Street, just a couple of minutes up from Shomrei.

Marcia Falk’s  Days Between  looks at liturgy from a feminist point of view, breaking new ground with poems, prayers and meditations. On September 23 from 3-4, this well-known poet will lead you into the season in this session presented by the Hadassah Brandeis Institute. Click here for the link to register. Continue reading