A Coffee Percolator at Ansche Chesed?

Members of our Ansche Chesed community know that I take Jewish legal traditions seriously and reverently but in a heterodox way. I am happy to be a faithful, traditional but non-Orthodoox Jew. I do not automatically incline toward the most stringent behaviors, which would be neurotic. But neither do I seek out all the most… Read more »

Accepting Ishei Israel

Nothing makes heterodox Jews squirm queasily – and probably just skip to the next page – like the prayer book’s pleas that the Jerusalem Temple be rebuilt and animal sacrifices be restored. There are plenty of very legitimate reasons why, from the seeming brutality and bloodiness of sacred barbecue to the fear (sadly warranted) of… Read more »

ואהבת לרעך כמוך/ Ve’ahavta le’reyakha kamokha / “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”

This week we read Parashat Kedoshim, which lies near the physical center of a Torah scroll and constitutes the spiritual center of biblical religion. Let’s look at this section’s most famous verse and its place in prayer. Modern Bible scholars distinguish among the Torah’s component parts, whose religious views are not always identical. This week… Read more »

Prayer of the Whirlwind and of the Driven Leaf

“Improvisation is the only artform in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time. It is the hidden things, the subconscious, that lets you know you feel this, you play this.” – jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman. A very long time ago, davveners held no prayer books. They hadn’t been… Read more »