Category Archives: Judaism

Anti-Jewish Black Lives Matter

Just a few days ago. the BLM led pogroms against Jewish businesses and synagogues and other Jewish institutions in Los Angeles. Now cops and the National Guard are kneeling to them in multiple cities, including the police in Austin. Modern Orthodoxy protests:

“We at the Conference of Jewish Affairs are appalled and angered by the wanton destruction that rioters in the Los Angeles area have wrought on Jewish synagogues, institutions, and shops in the significant Jewish area along Fairfax.  Much of the destruction and defacement of these Jewish synagogues and stores is deliberate and targeted acts of anti-Semitism.

 “We have known for years that Black Lives Matters is an abhorrently anti-Israel and anti-Jewish organization.  This anti-Semitism has trickled down from Black Lives Matters into large segments of those rioting. …”

So far, as Sultan Knish says, major Jewish organizations and denominations as well as the major news media are silent. You aren’t really woke, folks. When will you learn you can’t fight hatred by joining hands with it?

Via Sultan Knish

Missing Pesach

I consumed a little matzah, but otherwise was out-of-action for Passover with a touch of vertigo and weariness. I slept right through it. No fever nor any of the other signs of the virus, so we’re good to go. Feel better this morning.

Searching for chametz

You could and you should search for it if you’re Orthodox or just traditional when it comes to Pesach. Which is going to be memorable this year for the number of couples and singles who must put together their own private Seders. Usually a family affair.

I wonder if more couples and singles were alone during WW2? Hiding from the Nazis. Or crushed under the boots of the camps. At least there’s none of that to reckon with. And there’s always Skype or Facetime.

Issur Danielovitch, R.I.P.

Kirk Douglas to most of us, Issur was the son of an immigrant Jewish rag-picker and junkman in upstate New York. He died on Wednesday at 103. He Anglicized his name and became one of Hollywood’s top movie stars, then found his way back to Judaism relatively late in life, embracing it with a vengeance after he survived a helicopter crash.

Via The Jerusalem Post

Remembering Safed

I remember Safed, the historic Upper Galilean town of Jewish mystics, chiefly for its wide stone staircases. We traversed them, my Israeli friend Yan and I, in the gathering twilight of a warmish day in March, 2011 spent driving from one attraction to another. Yan preferred getting it all in; I wished for more time in one place.

And I got that time in Safed. I can still picture the staircases and the people who surrounded us going up and down the steps, until we found what we were looking for, through a darkening alley, a very old Sephardic synagogue whose name I don’t remember. With its baby-blue bima in the center of the room with the canopy effect of the wooden ceiling painted with sky scenes.

Built after the many Jews who came in 1492 when they were expelled from Spain, not before, though some had lived there all along—which is to say despite the Roman expulsion hundreds of years before.

The holy city of Safed, it’s called, the home of the sparks of Kabbalah mysticism. Perched on a mountaintop about three thousand feet above sea level and on its slopes, it is also the highest city in Israel. You could lose yourself in its narrow, one-way cobblestone streets and narrower cobblestone alleys and we almost did several times.

The ancient city lingers in memory almost nine years later and it always will.

Jewish Birthday of Trees

“Tu Bishvat could easily have faded away after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, since there was no longer a system of fruit offerings or Temple priests to receive them. However, the kabbalists (mystics) of Tzfat (the city of Safed) in the Land of Israel in the 16th century created a new ritual to celebrate Tu Bishvat called the Feast of Fruits.”

So, technically, the birthday, or new year, which begins in the evening of Sunday, Feb 9, and ends in the nightfall of Monday, Feb 10, is only about fruit trees. But the rabbis have extended it to all trees wherever they may be. Including the big grandfather tree off the porch at the mini-rancho.

Via Yahoo

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Happy Hanukkah

From Neely’s Canyon and our clay friends the aging Maccabees, which Mr. Boy dubs “a classic,” a gift from the mother of a girl who broke up with me.