Seasonal Musings

It’s that time of year again- the holiday season. This time of year has always been fraught with tension for many Jewish families as the carols sing out and the lights twinkle.

As a child, I would gaze at the festive trees in the windows of the houses as I walked home from Hebrew School after a day in public school where music class might have been a period of Christmas carols (we Jewish kids NEVER sang the name of Jesus), we listened to a passage from the Bible, and made Christmas decorations. In fact, when my parents moved from the big family home and divested themselves of the accumulation of many years, there were the Santas and construction paper wreaths made in elementary school.

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November Notes (and some December, too), Part 3

Thanksgiving weekend is usually the lead in to a frenetic few weeks of shopping, entertaining and family. With Hanukkah so closely following turkey day this year, the days may be even more jam-packed than usual.

Here are some Hanukkah and other related links, activities, and a recipe for a different Hanukkah treat. Continue reading

November Library Notes Part 2

There are lots of links to share as November passes its midpoint and lots to do. Thanksgiving is only a week away; a few days after we welcome Hanukkah.

So there will be much entertaining, many family gathering, and loads of cooking going on.

But before getting into that, here are some sites to share. They are in no particular order, so browse away. Continue reading

November Library Notes Part 1

TAKE NOTE: The Library is open for browsing and borrowing during building hours.

November and the Jewish month of Kislev have arrived. Both months are filled with special days and celebrations.

Jewish Book Month runs until Hanukkah. Hanukkah this year begins just a day or two after Thanksgiving. It’s not quite Thankgivakkah, which occurs rarely, but close enough to extend the sense of awe and miracle.

More Hanukkah and Thanksgiving ideas  and links will follow in the next library column. For now these may whet your reading appetite. Continue reading

Biblical Fiction

Three thousand three hundred twelve (3312). That’s a pretty big number and it’s not arbitrary. That’s the approximate number of languages that at least part of the Bible (Jewish and other) have been translated into. As of September 2020,  the full Bible is available in 704 languages and the New Testament can be read in an additional 1551 languages.

WOW! The Bible- or parts of it- must be the most translated piece of writing ever. Continue reading

Seasonal This and That

Sept 14 apology

It always amazes me how we transition so smoothly between the joyous solemnity of Rosh Hashanah to the contemplation of Yom Kippur and then back to rejoicing in the bounty of the earth and the gift of the Torah.

On Yom Kippur, we recite a long list of behavorial errors-often by rote. “How to Forgive” by Amy Klein (Hadassah Magazine online)  looks at some recent books about forgiveness. Klein says  “… at this time dedicated to introspection, soul searching and forgiveness, there are mixed emotions: grief for the people who passed; sadness and empathy for those who got sick, lost jobs and suffered in quarantine. But what should we feel for people who refused to observe quarantine mandates or wear masks, who won’t vaccinate (for nonmedical reasons) or who spread disinformation about Covid-19? Or for those who perpetuated divisions in our society? What to do about all the emotions—even rage—at the stubborn ones who we think are responsible for our suffering? ” In her article entitled “How to Forgive”, she cites two books that helped her deal with her conflicted emotions.  Continue reading