19 May 2016

One of the most noticeable features at many of the Spanish and Portuguese synagogues are the canonical robes worn by the rabbis and hazanim (often called ministers). They are striking because they are so similar in style to gowns traditionally worn by many Protestant ministers. Wearing them therefore seems to transgress the Biblical prohibition of ‘thou…

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01 May 2015

  Ahare Mot-Kedoshim 5775: In the Driver’s Seat  “…you will find—invisible, unrecorded, and unrecordable—both beauty and love. And where do they come from? From the same place as the soul, a place totally outside the mechanism.”  — Mark Helprin  “Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up…

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24 Apr 2014

Kedoshim 5774: Sacred Singularity There is a delightful scene in Disney’s “Mary Poppins” in which Bert, played by Dick Van Dyke, is making colorful chalk drawings on the London pavement. As he faces the ground, a silhouette appears in the shape of what seems to be a woman’s head,…

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