The Function of Discontent

Happiness, in one form or another, seems to be a common goal that most of us would like to attain. We often behave as though we might…

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Unhappy about all that matzah this week? Good! This article explains why complete happiness is impossible to sustain, and why a little bit of unhappiness actually helps us.

On the 50th Yahrtzeit of MLK

Image result for mlk and passover
I grew up in Oak Park, and went to Einstein elementary school. If you went there, you knew one of the best things about it was Mrs. Halsey, our school librarian. Mrs. Halsey a great big hug of a woman, warm as sunshine, whose smile made you feel like you mattered. One day when I was in kindergarten she came in very quietly, without a smile, and with tears on her cheeks. What happened, we asked. She said, A man I loved very much died yesterday. Who was so great to make Mrs. Halsey cry? This day was Friday, April 5th, 1968. It was Dr. King who she loved. We cried with her. I wanted to know more about the man who meant so much to her. I learned to love Dr. King, too. I am moved by everything he said, it is his mountain top speech, the last speech he ever gave, that I listen to at least once a year, and I cry each time.

This is from the end of that speech:
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I’m happy, tonight.

I’m not worried about anything.

I’m not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

This is the main lesson I learned from Dr. King. We have to have the courage to do what is good and right in the eyes of the lord, even when we are afraid, especially when we are afraid. He taught us that we should work everyday to fulfill the promise of a just and peaceful world, even if that promise is not fulfilled in our life time. He taught us to live the torah’s words, Vahavta, You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your might. Not someone else’s. Yours. Because of that, He did not just see the glory of the coming of the Lord. He brought the glory of the lord. He was the glory of the lord.

May we live with courage and determination and faith, and we always be worthy of the love that Mrs. Halsey had for Dr. King.

Stephen Colbert and the Goals of Jewish Education

By Dr. Ziva Hassenfeld and Dr. Jonah Hassenfeld It’s not every night Stephen Colbert talks Tanakh. Last week, in a somewhat unusual interview, Rose McGowan brought up the biblical story of Jonah to explain her distaste for organized religion. “There was a dude in a whale’s stomach that talked for three days or so. Then […]

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Postdigital Art

Postdigital art addresses the humanization of digital technologies through interplay between digital, biological, cultural, and spiritual systems, cyberspace and real space, embodied media and mixed reality in social and physical communication, high tech and high touch experiences, visual, haptic, auditory, and kinesthetic media experiences, roots and globalization,narrative art, blogart, wikiart, and artworks created with alternative media through participation, interaction, and collaboration.

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A blog renewed

I have struggled for a long time to figure out what would be a good approach for this blog. I think I have an idea. I have been learning a lot about the idea of curation, sharing knowledge from different sources to one place. I do a lot of reading in preparation for my sermons and articles, and for just my own learning. I have often shared my conclusions. This is a way for me to share my process, so you can come to your own conclusions, as well. I will still post my own ideas and creations from time to time.

Many of the articles that I curate will focus on Jewish culture, art, music and technology. These ideas are too often neglected, but provide so much of the richness and meaning in Jewish life.


A Shared Debt: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Gershom Scholem –

The lives of Hannah Arendt and Gershom Scholem were variations on the same fate. Two of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, they were born less than 10 years apart—Scholem in 1897, Arendt in 1906—to highly assimilated German Jewish families. Both would end up fleeing the collapse o

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