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A melody before the seder's cups of wine

??????? ?????? ??????????? ???????? ??????? ????? ?????????? ?????????? ???????? ?????? ?????? ????????? ???????? ???? ????????????????. Hin'ni muchan u-m'zuman l'kayem mitzvat kos rishonah m'arbah cosot l'shem yichud kudsha brich hu u-schinteh. May my consumption of this first of four cups of...

Winter blessings to a medieval carol tune

Several years ago, Ethan and I saw Richard Thompson and his merry band (the acoustic version thereof) perform a 1000 Years of Popular Music show at the Iron Horse. One of my favorite tracks from that night was a medieval...

VR Podcast 5: Sukkot

VR Podcast Episode 5: Sukkot Happy Sukkot! In this episode of the VR Podcast -- live from our sukkah in our backyard -- I talk about the festival of Sukkot, interpretations of the sukkah, impermanence, integrating blessings, the Four Species,...

VR Podcast 4: Elul and Teshuvah

VR Podcast Episode 4: Elul and Teshuvah. Tomorrow we enter the new lunar month of Elul -- a perfect time for a new VR Podcast! In this episode of the VR Podcast I talk about the lunar month of Elul,...

VR Podcast Episode 3: A Shabbat Morning Service

VR Podcast Episode 3: Shabbat Morning Service. This is an experimental edition of the Velveteen Rabbi podcast. Instead of featuring me talking about some aspect of Jewish life and spiritual practice, this is a prayer service podcast -- a recording...

Ana b'Koach / Untie our Tangles (a melody for the Omer count)

The words of "Ana B'Koach" in Hebrew and transliteration. Back in 2010, I posted about a prayer called Ana B'Koach: My friend Reb David Seidenberg calls Ana B'Koach one of the 'masterpieces of mystical prayer.' (Here's the NeoHasid page on...

VR Podcast Episode 2: Bedtime Practices

I did warn y'all that the podcast was going to be "occasional," right? Though I'm not sure I realized, when I said that, that four months would go by between episodes... VR Podcast Episode 2: Bedtime Practices. The "angel song;"...

Three melodies for the Order of the Seder

In honor of Pesach being just around the corner, I wanted to share a few Pesach melodies. Specifically, here are three different melodies one can use for singing the order of the seder. You probably know already that the word...

VR Podcast Episode 1: Morning Practices

Several of y'all have asked, over the years, whether I have considered podcasting. This winter, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm not promising that these podcasts will come out on any specific timetable. (I'm a congregational rabbi and...

Haunting Eicha Recording

6 years agoReligion / Judaism : Jewschool

Every once in a while, someone finds a creative way to use an ancient text or practice to see something in the present more profoundly. When done well, this elevates the present through a thoughtful link to longstanding traditions. It’s rare, usually attempts are stilted or out-of-place. But occasionally it works and when it does, [...]

This week's portion: water from the rock

WATER FROM THE ROCK (CHUKKAT) When Miriam died there was no water the wadis dried up the springs didn't flow as though the desert were mourning her passing her living waters blocked by stone we thirsted for wisdom we drank...

Brich rachamana

On my last day of ulpan, I got into conversation with a classmate about Birkat hamazon, the blessing we recite after meals. The idea of making birkat hamazon is rooted in a verse from this week's portion: "And you shall...

What if Superman had been a nice Jewish boy from Toronto?

7 years agoReligion / Judaism : Jewschool

Just started listening to the mp3 of this short story, and so far so good. Especially if you’re into Jewish Sci-fi. From BoingBoing: Roy Trumbull has performed an excellent reading of my short story The Super Man and the Bugout — a story about Superman as a Jewish boy raised in Toronto’s suburbs (one of [...]Show More Summary

This week's portion: Caretaker (Behar)

CARETAKER (BEHAR) Six days you may visit to pick sugar snap peas to burnish your fingers with basil and dill to strip string beans from their leggy bushes and choose radishes to stash in your bag. But on the seventh...

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