Chochmat Ha’Blog

I'm spiritual, not religious

I’m spiritual, not religious

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— Very often I hear folks say, “I’m spiritual, but not religious.”  (To be precise “religion” derives from the Latin religare meaning ‘to bind’, and by definition religiosity includes binding beliefs, practices and obligations. The etymologic underpinnings of “spirit” have to do with breath, and imply a focus on...


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Investigate-drash-interpret

Investigate-drash-interpret

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tetze (Deut. 21:10-25:19) is chock full with social rules and edicts that range from compassionate and noble to downright nasty and cruel. On the one hand we are encouraged to take care of each other, especially folks who are stateless, homeless,...


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Be Peaceful

Be Peaceful

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— In 1995 I participated in the International Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life, in commemoration of the end of World War II.  The Pilgrimage started with a 10-day convocation in Oswiecim, Poland. We offered prayers and meditation at the Birkenau and Auschwitz death camps, we studied...


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Setting before you blessing and curse

Setting before you blessing and curse

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— Oh, sweet Shabbes! It can feel so hard to accept the gift of a full day of peace and rest when there is so much unchecked anger, loss, pain and frustration in the air. The display of racist, anti-Semitic, homo-and-everything-else-phobic hatred that reared its head last...


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Question authority?

Question authority?

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— Our son, Michael, and I went to the “Summer of Love” exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco today. After a few hours of staring at Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelly’s Op Art posters, studying boldly embroidered 60’s Hippy Chic couture, marveling at photos...


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