A Purim Tale by Ben-Zion Friedman

February 19, 2015


Once aPUN a time

King OSH-KOSH of the UNITED KINGDOM was HAVANA good time .

PEKING toasted ; ” YEMEN , SERB up SAMOA wine . let’s TAIWAN on . ”

The tipsy king asked Queen Vashti : ” KENYA dance the hoo-chee koo-chee . . without your NEW JERSEY ? ”

Vashti shouted : ” NORWAY ! :

PEKING ordered : ” You CONGO . ”

After she GHANA way , PEKING’s men went ROMAN for a YOUNGSTOWN girl .

PEKING SPOKAN said to Esther : ” On a scale of one-to-ten , you’re the only TENNESSEE .

I’d like to CZECH YOU OUT . ”

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The Morality of the NFL

February 11, 2015

The Super Bowl was the number one watched program of all time in the US with almost 115 million viewers.  Now this may be because you wanted to watch the ads or the halftime show with Katy Perry, but I would guess, that like me, many of you are football fans.

As you know, I am from Boston and a passionate New England sports fan.  So, I should be on cloud nine right now, as the Patriots just won their 4th Super Bowl.  I am pretty psyched – come on, an interception on the 1 yard line with 20 seconds to go – it was amazing.  Yet, it is with mixed emotions that I reflect on this year’s Super Bowl and really this entire NFL season.  How do I, as a moral person, continue to support as league that has disappointed me in so many ways.

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How’s Your Consciousness?: Explore Jewish Meditation at RS

February 2, 2015
Check out this video of Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg who will speak at RS this Wed. at 7 pm.
     I recently heard an NPR reporter speak about the fact that most New Year’s resolutions don’t stick.  Why not?  My guess is that our priorities get buried under other expectations we have for ourselves, or others have for us.  Then, without being entirely conscious of it, we lose sight of what, on January 1, seemed to be so important.  So many of us fail to be our best selves because we simply lose track of where the day, or week or year is taking us.  I popped that baked good into my mouth without even thinking of it.  I cut off the intersecting grocery cart in the produce section, barely even realizing it.  I made a dismissive and insensitive remark without noticing.  I don’t help out with the house and children as much as I think I do, because I’m not really paying attention.
     Jewish tradition offers us a transformative way to rediscover our consciousness: mindfulness.  Through spiritual practice such as meditation, tradition teaches us to take notice of the world, even of our breath, and pay attention.  Other traditions offer powerful mindfulness wisdom and many of you have benefitted from them.  But I would never want us to miss out on what is right under our noses, right here in our tradition.

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