Showing posts with label Show all posts
Showing posts with label Show all posts

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Not quite ready for 5771

"Holy crap!" is probably not the expression such news should prompt, but that's what zipped through my head and out of my mouth when I discovered how early Rosh Hashanah would be this year.

The Jewish new year, 5771, begins at sundown on Wednesday, September 8. I am so not ready for this, a sentiment that's guaranteed to generate predictable comments like, "What do you care, aren't you Roman Catholic now?"

These types of remarks used to cheese me off and still do, except I've learned to use them as opportunities to flog my book, Why Is There a Menorah on the Altar: Jewish Roots of Christian Worship...kind of like I just did.

I've also started suggesting a visit to Jewcy: What Matter Now might be instructive. A tour through that fabulous site reveals variations of self-definition among contemporary Jews. After decades of inter-everything marriage, it's looking to me like self-definition trumps the rulebook written during antiquity. Not to mention that identity and faith and religion do not necessarily overlap; certainly not neatly.

In fact, I do care that Rosh Hashanah is sooner rather than later. It doesn't matter how long I've been baptized or in what Christian church I hold open my hands and lift them to receive the host, the rhythm of the Jewish liturgical calendar still has the power to shape my daily life.

During the High Holy Days I'm invited to contemplate the year just finished and how I might discover and live according to God's will in the year ahead. Not sure I'm ready, willing or able to do this in a few short weeks. And of course I'll contemplate all this yet again when the Christian liturgical year begins at Advent ─ which also seems to be arriving very early this year.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

While blogging at . .

I spent the past week blogging over at and learned a lot. Like what?

Like even though I write every day, there's a reason why I don't blog daily. It's the same reason why I never aspired to work on a daily newspaper or a weekly magazine. Those venues require very fast thinking and writing. Yipes!

Even more importantly, I learned more about what a difference a cohort makes.

Last week plunged me into the world of Generation X but mostly Generation Y Jews who do indeed seem to be more culturally tolerant than Jews of my generation. An entire world of "Funny, you don't look Jewish" Borscht Belt shtick is lost on them. This might be a good thing for interfaith relations; something I need to think about more and more carefully.

My posts were intended to work as stand-alone pieces, but if you read them in order, I hope you'll see the dawn's early light emerging in my skull mush:

"My Own Private Exodus" (Wednesday, 11/11)
"Multiple Spirituality Disorder" (Thursday, 11/12)
"The Hebrew Word for 'Holy'" (Friday, 11/13)

Again, I invite you to spend more time at That's my plan!

Next up: I have something to say about the GAP boycott called for by the American Family Association.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blogging at

Although doing so would certainly put me into a much-needed theta state, I haven't ditched blogging for chanting the Litany of the Saints. Quite the contrary. This week, my adrenal system is working out at

Jewcy describes itself as: an online media outlet/blog, social network, and brand devoted to helping Jews and their peers expand the meaning of community by presenting a spectrum of voices, content, and discussion.

I was invited to come over for a week-long play date by editor, Lilit Marcus whose writing is delightfully thought-provoking in both content and style. Exhibit A: "New York Is My Israel." Exhibit B: "A History of My Jewish Identity Viewed Through Men I've Dated."

My posts to date reveal yet more about my interior experience as a [adjective]:
"Why Is There a Menorah on the Altar?" (Monday, 11/9)
"The Muzuzah and the Crucifix" (Tuesday, 11/10)

Hope you'll click over to read more and will spend time visiting the entire site while you're there.