Author of "Embracing Auschwitz" and "Mensch•Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi - Wisdom for Untethered Times." Winner of the Rockower Award, the highest honor in Jewish journalism and 2019 Religion News Association Award for Excellence in Commentary. Musings of a rabbi, journalist, father, husband, poodle-owner, Red Sox fan and self-proclaimed mensch, taken from essays, columns, sermons and thin air. Writes regularly in the New York Jewish Week and Times of Israel.
Friday, October 8, 2021
In This Moment: Top Ten Reasons Jews Love Pizza; Mazal tov to Cantor Kaplan; The Deep Structure of Jewish Prayer
In This Moment
The Shabbat-O-Gram is sponsored this week by Carlie and Jordan Socaransky, in honor of Lolly's becoming Bat Mitzvah this Shabbat
Great article in the Stamford Jewish Voice celebrating Cantor Kaplan’s
completion of the program which grants her the official title of cantor. Mazal tov!
Mazal tov to Lolly Socaransky and family, as Lolly becomes Bat Mitzvah on Shabbat morning. The service will be in our sanctuary and broadcast over livestream. Friday night's will as well (we begin at 6).
Also, the archived video of Alan Kalter's funeral can be found on our website's TBE-Live portal. And join us and Alan's family at 1 today when we will share stories and reflections in a Zoom shiva at the conclusion of our regularly scheduled daily afternoon service.
Over 40 people attended our first conversation about "The New Jewish Canon" this week. You can watch that first session by clicking here. The class discussed some of the most significant trends that have shaped the past half century, both in Jewish life and more generally speaking. We talked about the impact of social media, feminism, LGBTQ rights, political polarization, distrust of government and many other issues. One overriding question was whether we've become a less - or more - violent society. Another was whether these past four decades have been a time of stabilizing (or as the authors put it, "settling") of Jewish life after the tumult of the mid 20th century, or have we been living through times are themselves revolutionary. The next session will take place on Tuesday the 19th (this Tuesday is Cantor Kaplan's meditation class), and we'll discuss, among other questions, where power truly resides in Jewish communities and the Jewish world, and how that has shifted. Click here to see the syllabus and reading links. Click here to register. Click hereto order the book (or order from Amazon).
Chai Chi: The Deep Structure of Tefila
One of the first scholars in residence that I invited here, back in the early '90s, was the great Jewish humorist (who literallywrote the book on Jewish Humor), Rabbi Moshe Waldoks. On the Shabbat morning of his visit, he took us on a guided tour of the Sabbath service, guided by the wisdom of eastern religions. Find a quiet place to sit, and listen to the lecture,"Chai Chi: The Deep Structure of Tefila." It will help you to understand the approach to prayer that we have long embraced and advocated here at TBE.
With the long-awaited opening of Sally's Apizza in Stamford - and this Stamford Advocate front page story featuring TBE's own Jeremy Young, who reviews pizza for the Stamford High newspaper (and only cheese pizza, I must happily add), it's time to get down to the matter at hand. Why is pizza the quintessential Jewish food? True, there are no holidays that call on us to eat pizza, it didn't exist in the Bible and, really there is nothing Jewish about pizza - but we can't let mere facts stop us. So, with David Letterman's show so much on our minds this week, I give you the Top Ten Reasons Jews Love Pizza. Please send me your own!
1) It unites the major Jewish festivals: Passover (flat bread), Shavuot (dairy) and Sukkot (veggie toppings.) But no fruit, please. Especially pineapple (yechh).
2) Throw in Hanukkah, which also is a time to eat cheese and oil. And even Judah Maccabee likes Greek pizza!
3) Speaking of Passover, Piz-za and Mat-za have the same last name. Both are from the Tza family.