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Zichrono Livracha

When people die we often add Zichrono Livracha after their names–may their memory be blessed/for a blessing. This speaks to the way that people impact the arc of history even after they themselves are no more. What lessons do those…

Movement, Denominations, and Minyanim…oh my!

A little while back, in addressing recent discussions of minyanim and reacting to Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, BZ posted: Rabbi Kaunfer writes “New self-proclaimed movements sprung up — Reconstructionism, and the Renewal and Chavurah Movements.” The “Chavurah movement” is not now…

Ja, De, Le

As any American sports fan has noticed, the last two decades have shown a new trend emerging in African-American naming culture. In the movement towards fresh and creative names, we are seeing a prefix model become increasingly common. Pre-existing names…

Good News/Bad News

Last week, I was on my way to a healthcare rally when I bumped into some Larouche-ies. You’ve probably seen them yourself. They are out with a disturbing Obama-Hitler Mashup: As I walked by, a late teens/early 20s scraggly white…

Shtick

[I hope there will be a lot of collaboration on this one, so i will set out the framework and edit it a lot, so please make suggestions and additions in comments and I’ll add them to the main text.]…

Haunting Eicha Recording

Every once in a while, someone finds a creative way to use an ancient text or practice to see something in the present more profoundly. When done well, this elevates the present through a thoughtful link to longstanding traditions. It’s…

Getting Ready For Shabbos

We just nailed down the time that our shabbat dinner guests are coming tonight. 7:45. It reminded me of something I heard R. Zalman Schachter Shalomi say when I was a kid. Some folks were scurrying into shul late and…

The Syrian Rub

So, by now we’ve all heard about the bust involving political leaders and Syrian Rabbis in New Jersey: NEWARK (Reuters) – Dozens of New Jersey politicians, officials and prominent rabbis were arrested on Thursday in a sweeping federal probe that…

First Jewish President?

Jews have been overrepresented in US Government for quite awhile. For instance, currently 15% of Senators are Jewish versus 2% in the general population. Who has the best chance of being the first Jewish President? In the past few years…