Days of Remembrance

We Jews have so many holidays and days of remembrance. From Nissan 1, the first day of Passover, marking the beginning of the year (Yes, Nissan actually is the first month of the Hebrew calendar) through Purim in the month of Adar, there are scores of holidays – and four new years. Then there is the weekly Shabbat celebration. I’d estimate that at least 100 days are marked in some special way. Continue reading

Reflection on the Civil Rights Trip: Personal Highlights

When I was a kid and drove with my father from our hometown of Lowell, Mass to the orthodontist in Boston, we would go through the streets of Cambridge. I would notice the rather decrepit looking triple deckers, the small apartment buildings, the dirty streets – and the dark faces. I remember questioning my father and asking why people had to live that way. Continue reading

Noah and the Ark

And we begin again. A good book is worth rereading as we do the Torah every year. This past Shabbat, we began the annual cycle of reading about the world’s most dysfunctional family.

Is there any emotion or problem that the first family and its descendants didn’t face in the course of many generations: jealousy, fratricide, cheating, lying, murder, rape, impersonating , broken hearts, lust, infertility, lack of confidence? God may have been the world’s first therapist. Continue reading

MESH Report Sept 26, 2023

It was still gloomy outside but in the Shomrei kitchen the colors couldn’t have been brighter and the MESH volunteers cheerier as they prepared the night’s meal.

New Shomrei members- but experienced food preparers- Carol and Andy Blau joined co-chairs Lynne Kurzweil and Aileen Grossberg is putting together 50 simple but satisfying meals which included an array of colorful raw vegetables, hummus, a generous serving of Aileen’s “Everything Egg Salad, “ semi- homemade coleslaw, a large sandwich roll, a bag of chips, a mini coffee cake and container of applesauce. Continue reading

Generations

Family lore has it that Grandpa Julius, my father’s father, was the only man in the shtetl of Skidel with a gun and that he was spirited out of town in a coffin because ”they” were after him. It’s hard to believe that this man of few words, whom I never heard raise his voice, might have had violence in this past.

Or Did Grandpa Sam, a small, quiet, white haired man with impeccable handwriting really know the Talmud so well that if you stuck a pin through a word, he would know the word on the other side of the page?

What do these family stories have to do with the High Holidays coming up? Continue reading