Women’s Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah in my shul is pretty happy with lots of dancing on the ground floor, and lots of women watching from above. Normally, this arrangement is fine with me. I, actually like to be on the second floor, where on a regular Shabbat we don’t have many women, and I can see and hear…

Another Day, Another Year

So here we are, again, Ready (?) to stand in front of HaShem begging for mercy. אבינו מלךנו – our father, our king – we cry asking for a better year that the one passed. Somehow, the liturgy of the High Holidays always brings me to inner tears. I don’t think I am able to…

How this 650-year-old French synagogue withstood centuries of anti-Semitism

I decided to re-blog this article about a historical shul. Pretty Amazing!   CARPENTRAS, France (JTA) — The synagogue in this Provence town is Western Europe’s oldest functioning Jewish house of worship — and one of the prettiest on the continent. The Synagogue of Carpentras, which this year is celebrating its 650th anniversary, has a Baroque-style interior…

The End of Kaddish Era

Today, 11th of Nissan marks the end of an era for me. Today is the last day of the kaddish for my father, Shimon ben Nachum z’l. Had it been just yesterday when I started? Or ages ago? Today I am looking back to my short runs to the huge historical shul near my work with a minyan (or…

Jewish Places of the (Not-So-Distant) Past

כח  אַל-תַּסֵּג, גְּבוּל עוֹלָם–    אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ אֲבוֹתֶיךָ. 28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.  Proverbs – מִשְׁלֵי I love to go to museums. Art, history, architecture, objets d’art, furniture, you name it. Certainly, I look at many things through the prism of the relations to Jews and Judaism. What’s better than to…

Casale Monferrato Synagogue

This is just a quick post that I simply had to make. I stumbled upon amazing pictures of a historic synagogue in Italy, built in 1599 and situated between Milan and Turin. The website has the following text accompanying the amazing photographs of the shul: “Casale Monferrato congregation began renting its current building on September 17,…

Praising Gd Through Tears

I spent my morning at the cemetery. It’s been half a year. What is time, anyway? Here, on this side of the door we all dread, and are all fascinated with, time is precious. It’s tangible. We all run to finish things we need to do, making plans for the day – don’t forget this, remember…

For the Love of Books

I love books! I love to read them, love to own them, and no matter how many new gadget-reading devices will pop up on our ever-changing technology market, I will not back up. Leave the books alone! They are eternal! That’s my motto. Maybe it’s because I don’t see well, or maybe because a good book is…

Let’s Help my Shul!

Dear reader, This is not a food post. I am trying to spread the word about the fundraising campaign for my synagogue. Please go to this link, see the video for yourself, and find it in your heart to donate a few dollars. This is really a unique congregation. Be a part of this mitzvah!…