Monday, September 21, 2009


It has certainly been a long time since blogging and I don't know how people have time to blog every day and still work. As an interior sort of person, who is very different from who i was twenty years ago or more, I like to dwell on topics forever- to my own detriment.

I do have a poetry book that is autobiographical in many ways called "Chasing Moonbeams" and is available on for a very reasonable price. Read it and tell me what you think.

As a Rabbi, I am pained by what is occurring in this country now- the vitriol, the hate language, the lack of decency towards one another in furtherance of one's own particular goal rather than society as a whole. I cannot ever remember things being so out of hand except during the Viet Nam war- except there, the hate language and demonstrations were directed towards one issue. Now decency is lacking and it has sapped my creative energies.The blogs, the television news and pundits, who think they are a little greater than the Almighty depress me. But on this subject, I could bore you for hours. So for now, I will quit until I have something vital to say!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It has been a long time since blogging and I have seen a bit more of our world, traveling with Rabbis to Prague, Budapest, Warsaw and Crakow. There is a Re-naissance of life there, although what was, will never be again. Yiddish culture and folkways are dead and the world has lodt something precious, whether Muslims and other Jew-haters want to believe that. I say Muslims because, not that there are not moderate Muslims in the religion, but that the Koran itself castigates its own people for associating with infidels. It actually uses stronger language that I do not care to quote. And for them, we are infidels- and this pains me so. It means that whatever we do to try and develop peace- no matter how much land we are willing to trade, there will NEVER be peace because we are INFIDELS to them- unholy, unworth and lower than the lowliest animal. I have difficulty in accepting this.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Now is the time for us to turn
as the leaves begin their process of changing from green to red and gold'
we must turn our thoughts inward to admit our wrongs.
Animals turn their behavior towards preparing for winter,
some find shelter, store food, move to new locations.
For us, the process is internal and individual, more difficult..
It is never easy to admit wrongdoing--not even to oneself.
We don't like to lose face in front of others'
we don't like to feel ashamed,
but these things are embarassing and painful.

But if we don';t have the strength within
to recognize our wrongs,
then we'll never correct them--
and we'll never change.

God, I pray, help us to turn
from insensitivity to strength
from carelessness to purpose
from jealousy to contentment
from weakness to disciplined
and from fear to faithful.

Yes, it is difficult. But I stand before you
ready to try. This is a new year. Let me set things
right. And make the New Year bright.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


We are obsessed
all of us
by things--
acquiring them
counting them
even selling them,
"schvitzing" or bragging
to others about them
managing them
looking for more
safeguarding them,
and for what?

So you can be "Judged"
by how much you have?
Does that make you worthy?
or feel better? Or loving?
or a mensch?

No--it makes you
a person with things.

And in the end,
in the great Academy
in the World to Come,
the only thing that matters
is who we are.

Things remain things--
they'll stay with family,
or end up on e-bay.

Friday, August 31, 2007

A Holiday Conundrum

WE are fast approaching the Jewish High Holy Days, but I have often wondered what do you do when you go to the synagogue to pray and you can't pray? You mouth the words, you go through the motions, but there is no feeling behind what you do. Does it count? Do you contintinue? Should you? Maybe it is more ethical to sit down and think. There was a period in my life when I could not walk inside a synagogue, so I didn't. We teach words in all Sunday schools of all faiths, but do we teach people to pray? Can we teach this is really the question or is praying so close to faith that it is something one cannot teach? I don't have answers today- probably never, just questions, that's why I am dwelling in the desert. I am not ready to dwell among my people yet. I don't have enough answers. Can you help?
And when so much is going wron in the world, doesn't it make it even more difficult to have faith? Yesterday there was a story on the news about a family in Clovis, CA. who had lost two sons to this war. With all the thousands in the war, why take two from the same family? Isn't that more grief than they should have to bear? No one ever promised us that life would be fair or that justice would prevail on earth, but sometimes I find these occurrences to be such a stretch of faith or a kind of test tima and again. When will it end? I know it won't as long as I am walking around, and that's what bothers me. Commemts invited.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Memory is like dreaming
through a viscous cloud
whose details sharpen
with the weather
and flow as a river in spring,
bubbling up with seemingly
insignificant details one day,
while forgetting what should
be memorable another.

The ebb and flow like the tides
makes life rise out of Stygian
darkness to live another day.
I bless those whose life is pure:
the simplicity of touch, smell,
and a wet, wagging tail.


Memory is something I have been thinking about for many years. It can play tricks on you. You think you are sure you remember something one way, when someone else has a completely different version of that occurrence or event. So how trustworthy are our memories if we are looking back on our lives? I am sure that certain events and certain short scenes stick out in our minds, but what about the rest of it? Most of us live from day to day without thinking in terms of preserving for posterity each and every event; besides, what a boring folly that would be! I wrote a short poem to express some of these issues: