Author Archives: Jhos Singer



Jhos Singer

The Undeniable Impermanence
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The Undeniable Impermanence

Shalom Chaverim, As I began to write this musing, the spire of Notre Dame had just fallen in a flamboyant descent, the familiar landmark transforming before my eyes. Moments later, I discovered that the Al...

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April 16, 2019
A Metaphor for the Human Condition
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A Metaphor for the Human Condition

Shalom Chaverim— I just returned from leading the JCCSF annual Staff Israel Seminar. This year was a two-week marathon—each day we covered a whiplash-inducing spectrum of ideas and ideologies, people and places, beliefs, and visions....

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April 10, 2019
An Elevated and Intimate Space
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An Elevated and Intimate Space

Shalom Chaverim— The work of redemption is hard, relentless, time-consuming, and costly.  Whether we are talking about mistakes or accidents, intentional behavior or inadvertent acts—when we have caused disruption in our community, it requires tikkun, a...

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March 19, 2019
Biblical Blueprint for Holy Community
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Biblical Blueprint for Holy Community

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s parasha, Pekudei (Exodus 38:21-40:38), closes the long stretch of Biblical blueprints and plans for the Mishkhan, which can be understood as God’s dwelling on earth and/or our place to form holy...

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March 06, 2019
Everyone Whose Heart Was Stirred
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Everyone Whose Heart Was Stirred

Shalom, Chaverim— Fair warning: Once again, this week’s musing is a biblically inspired pitch, not entirely unlike like last week’s teaching which, due to technical difficulties, wasn’t widely read. That said, I could have written...

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February 27, 2019
Creating a Spectacular Mishkan
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Creating a Spectacular Mishkan

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— Fair warning: this is going to be a Biblically-inspired pitch! Following another long description of what will be needed to create a spectacular mishkan, or community ritual space, this week’s Torah portion,...

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February 19, 2019
Make for Me a Sacred Place
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Make for Me a Sacred Place

Terumah 2019 I dedicate this Musing to the memory of our friend, teacher, and Chochmat HaLev member, Shaykh Dr. Ibrahim Baba Farajeje Shalom Chaverim— Julie and I just are back from a whirlwind trip to...

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February 06, 2019
Where is our strength hiding?
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Where is our strength hiding?

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Beshallach (Exodus 13:17-17:16) includes perhaps the most well known and dramatic moments of all biblical narratives—the parting of the Sea of Reeds. The moment is supremely anxious: the fleeing...

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January 16, 2019
Delicious and devastating life on Earth
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Delicious and devastating life on Earth

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s parasha, Bo (Exodus 10:10-13:16), closes out the famous Ten Plagues episode, which leads us to the liberation of the Israelites from slavery. The final plague, “Death of the Egyptians’ Firstborn,” saturates...

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January 09, 2019
Lost from our own hearts
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Lost from our own hearts

Shalom, Chaverim— We are in plague-land, my friends. Parashat Va’eira (Exodus 6:2-9:35) focuses almost exclusively on the first seven of the ten plagues: Blood, Frogs, Lice, Wild Animals, Cattle Disease, Boils, and Hail. The text...

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January 02, 2019
The Jewish Superpower
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The Jewish Superpower

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1), launches us into a new reality (biblically) and a new year (in reality).  Our reading sets into motion the series of fortunate and unfortunate events that...

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December 26, 2018
Gam zu l’tovah -- even-this-is-for-the-good
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Gam zu l’tovah — even-this-is-for-the-good

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— The teaching gam zu l’tovah/even-this-is-for-the-good emphasizes that there are things in the world that are nistar/hidden and nigleh/revealed. Often, we are experiencing something in its nistar state, passing judgment on it, and...

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November 29, 2018
Standing at the Crossroads
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Standing at the Crossroads

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Toledot (Genesis 25:19-28:9) begins with another of our Jewish ancestors’ struggles with fertility. But finally, after pleading with God, Isaac and Rebecca do conceive—with twins. “And the children...

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November 09, 2018
We Want to Know Why
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We Want to Know Why

“And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years: these were the years of Sarah’s life. And Sarah died in the-city-of-four-corners, also called Hebron, in the land of Canaan and Abraham...

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November 01, 2018
Turn Our Mourning Into Dancing
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Turn Our Mourning Into Dancing

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim, This week’s Torah portion, Noach (Genesis 6:9 - 11:32) is focused on the mythic account of a massive, worldwide, completely devastating flood. What makes this flood particularly terrible, aside from its widespread...

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October 12, 2018