Saturday, December 25, 2010

VaEra 5771: A God by Any Other Name

Vaera 5771:  A God by Any Other Name

A good summary about the different names of God can be found in this Wikipedia article.

Please also consider listening to Forgotten Classics by Julie D.  There is an episode in the Notes to the Reader,  the introduction to Robert Alter’s translation of Genesis, which contains a discussion of the names of God in Genesis.  You can find Forgotten Classics on Itunes or you can follow the link here.  There are additional “note to the Reader” episodes which also have very interesting information about the Bible in general, issues of translation and the names of God.  Please note that Julie does not speak Hebrew and tries very hard to spell words instead of mispronouncing them.  It makes it a little harder to listen to, but her devotion to accuracy is impressive!

Please listen to and look at the show notes for Parshat Noah to hear more about the names of God and their connection to the different editorial strands of the text.

Portable recording devices anyone?  Suggestions for the best one to use on the fly.  Donations towards its purchase are greatly appreciated.

Names for our ram?  We have a new Tunis ram still waiting for a name.  Suggestions? 

What does God stiffening Pharaoh’s heart mean?  Is there a difference between the times the text tells us that God stiffened Pharaoh’s heart versus the times it simply states that Pharaoh hardened his own heart?

Comments please!

P.S.  Happy Secular New Year to all. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shemot 5771: Bushes and Bricks

Not much to note this week, though I am certain I missed saying something.  I am a big supporter of midwifery and natual childbirth, so I have always connected to the story of Shiphrah and Puah and their bravery! 


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vayehi 5771-Blessings, Endings & Beginnings

Vayehi 5771

Jacob’s Blessings for his sons and grandsons

A few things to note:

  1. The order of the blessings is not the same as their birth order
  2. All sons from concubines and wives are treated the same
  3. Younger sons are treated better than older ones continuing the Biblical tradition from Isaac on.

             Birth                          Blessing                                  Highlights of Blessing
1.     Rueben   (Leah)                  Rueben                    Disgrace for sleeping with Bilha
2.     Simeon   (Leah)                  Simeon                     Cursed for actions against Shechem
3.     Levi       (Leah)                   Levi                         Cursed for actions against Shechem
4.     Judah     (Leah)                  Judah                       Raised up to rule over everyone
5.     Dan       (Bilhah)                 Zebulun                   Sailor
6.     Naphtali  (Bilhah)               Issachar                    Hard-working, seeking security
7.     Gad       (Zilpah)                 Dan              Govern tribes, powerful threat to others
8.     Asher     (Zilpah)                Gad                          Raid and be raided
9.     Issachar (Leah)                   Asher                       Rich, line of royalty
10.   Zebulon  (Leah)                  Naphtali                   Good progenitor
11.   Joseph   (Rachel)                Joseph          Blessed with wealth and power.  Elect of
12.   Benjamin (Rachel)              Benjamin                 Powerful but fair

Hazon Food Conference and other information can be found at
A few of the presenters
Judy and Mark Dornstreich Branch Creek Farm, Perkasie, PA
Barbara & Alan Glustoff 5 Spoke Creamery
Naftali Hanau CEO and Founder: Grow and Behold
Ari Hart Co-founder, Uri L'Tzedek
Devora Kimmelman-Block Founder: KOL Foods
Gil Marks author of The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food and Olive Trees and Honey
Nigel Savage Executive Director: Hazon
Jerry Schwartz, Owner/Shepherd Frisky Lamb Farm,
Chef Michael Solomonov Founder, Zahav Restaurant, Philadelphia PA
Jeffrey Yoskowitz Food writer and Director of Operations and Marketing for Negev Nectars
Molly Zeff Interfaith Program Representative, Equal Exchange

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Vayigash 5771: Drama! Drama! Drama! You are the boss of me!

Show Notes
Vayigash 5771
Hanukkah Radio Programs
I couldn’t actually find the audio feeds for these programs, but perhaps you will be able to find them through you own local NPR radio stations.  If not, you can at least look for the stories and people mentioned on these programs for further insight into the celebration of Hanukkah!
Hanukkah Lights - December 1, 3-4pm on 93.9FM          
On this perennial NPR favorite, Hanukkah stories and memoirs, written by acclaimed authors expressly for Hanukkah Lights, are read by NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. Hanukkah Lights celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, with four brand new works:  "Finding Golda" by Margot Singer, "Legacy" by  Lev Raphael," "Geek Week" by Rebecca O'Connell, and "Moon Landing," by Shira Nayman.
In "Legacy," Lev Raphael reflects on the Hanukkah celebrations of his youth, and the miracles of a dark time that, quite literally, brought his family to life. In Shira Nayman's "Moon Landing," two young girls find common ground in the age old miracles of their vastly different cultures. In "Finding Golda," by Margot Singer, a middle-aged man, adrift in a troubled and violent city, finds new hope in the hearts of those who love him. In Rebecca O'Connell's "Geek Week," two teens meet at a high-school science fair, and stumble on a formula to reunite a divided family.
A Great Miracle Happened There: A Hanukkah Special – December 5, 6-7am on 93.9 FM and 9pm on AM820
A conversation between Rabbi Ismar Schorsch and Host Larry Josephson about the history, rituals, foods and meaning of Hanukkah--and its importance to American Jews in our time. Cantors David Lefkowitz and Elisheva Dienstfrey sing the music of Hanukkah.
A Chanukah Musical Celebration – December  5, 10-10:30pm on 93.9 FM
The spirit of Chanukah, a holiday joyous at freedom's triumph and spiritual rededication, is richly reflected in the folk melodies and songs from countries across the globe where Jews have lived and worshipped for centuries. Host Naomi Lewin presents this music for all to enjoy in A Chanukah Musical Celebration.
To see Steph Gorin’s amazing work look at:
Jewish Fiberaholics is a group on  You can find many different groups on Ravelry for all types of fiber arts and groups throughout the world.  Over 1 million people turn to as a way to learn and grow in their craft.