Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section


צוק איתן – קליפ המוקדש באהבה לכל חיילי צה״ל

20.07.2014

 

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WEEKLY Parshat Hashavuah 

 

 

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 Shiurim Tisha B’Av  language  hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

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LET US BE JOYOUS — BORIS DORFMAN A MENTSH

27.07.2014
A kind of making of …

edited by Marek Gajczak

BORIS DORFMAN OFFICIAL TRAILER /SHORT/

27.07.2014
A radically Yiddish Film: Boris Dorfman – A Mentsh
by Uwe & Gabriela von Seltmann
© Apfelstrudel Media Berlin/ Stowarzyszenie Film Kraków

“A Mentsh” is a movie shot entirely in the Yiddish language. It’s set in the former multinational city of Lviv, Ukraine, and the first part of a planned Yiddish trilogy (Lviv, Tel Aviv,New York). Lviv was a centre of Jewish life for more than 600 years. During World War II this special culture was destroyed. 75 years after the beginning of the war, Boris Dorfman takes us on an oneiric trip to all the places of horror and hope reflecting the Jewish history. The 90-year-old activist is virtually the last one in town still speaking the almost extinct language of Yiddish – he is like a living relic of the past and a fighter against oblivion. While remembering the past, he lives in the present and tries to prepare the people for the future — he is “a mentsh”, someone full of love and empathy.

Written and directed by Uwe and Gabriela von Seltmann
Director of Photography and Film Editor: Marek Gajczak
Producers: Kai-Alexander Moslé, Uwe P. Tietz, Uwe & Gabriela von Seltmann
Coproducers: Cristian Lamping, Cornelia Stocker, Dagmar Friede
Executive Producer: Aneta Zagórska
Sound: Michał Dominowski
Music: Christian Dawid
Music edited by Gabi von Seltmann
Digital postproduction & digital intermediate: Di Factory
Jędrzej Sabliński, Rafał Golis, Julia Skorupska
Sound-mixing: Melange Studio
Production: Apfelstrudel Media Berlin, Stowarzyszenie Film Kraków
A film made in collaboration with Weiterdenken Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Sachsen
Genre: Documentary (50 min length)
Year of Production (end): 2014, April
Language: Yiddish – subtitles in English, German and Polish

Author of Trailer: Marek Gajczak

Architect of the Jewish Future (Mordecai M. Kaplan)

21.03.2014 The Program for Jewish Civilization, the Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood, and the Department of Jewish Studies of McGill University are hosted a conference on the life, work, and legacy of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan.

Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983) is now widely acknowledged to have been one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the 20th century as a founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. During the conference presenters explored the ways in which his thought may be even more important in the 21st century.

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JewishOperaLives!@KulturFestival,FAU

140306 Rachel’s Romance – from LA JUIVE 19.03.2014
Soprano Helene Williams, accompanied at the piano by Leonard Lehrman, sings Rachel’s Romance, “Il va venir,” from Act II of Jacques Fromental Halevy’s LA JUIVE, at the Jewish Kultur Festival of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Mar. 6, 2014.

Popular Erwin Schulhoff Videos

Schulhoff Mayerova 1931.jpgErwin Schulhoff (Czech: Ervín Šulhov; 8 June 1894 – 18 August 1942) was a Czech composer and pianist. He was one of the figures in the generation of European musicians whose successful careers were prematurely terminated by the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany and whose works have been rarely noted or performed.

Schulhoff was born in Prague into a family of Jewish German origin. The noted pianist and composer Julius Schulhoff was his great-uncle. Source Wikipedia

Popular Alfred Schnittke Videos

 

Alfred Schnittke April 6 1989 Moscow.jpgAlfred Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́ткеAl’fred Garrievič Šnitke; November 24, 1934 – August 3, 1998) was a Sovietand Russian composer. Schnittke’s early music shows the strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic First Symphony (1969–1972) and First Concerto Grosso (1977). In the 1980s, Schnittke’s music began to become more widely known abroad with the publication of his Second (1980) and Third (1983) String Quartets and the String Trio (1985); the ballet Peer Gynt (1985–1987); the Third (1981), Fourth (1984), and Fifth (1988) Symphonies; and the Viola (1985) and 1st Cello (1985–1986) Concertos. As his health deteriorated, Schnittke’s music started to abandon much of the extroversion of his polystylism and retreated into a more withdrawn, bleak style.Schnittke’s father, Harry Viktorovich Schnittke (1914–1975, rus.), was Jewish and born in Frankfurt.[1] He moved to the USSR in 1927 and worked as a journalist and translatorfrom the Russian language into German. His mother, Maria Iosifovna Schnittke (née Vogel, 1910–1972), was a Volga German born in Russia. Schnittke’s paternal grandmother, Tea Abramovna Katz (1889–1970), was a philologist, translator, and editor of German-language literature. Source Wikipedia

Popular Viktor Ullmann Videos

Viktor Ullmann (1 January 1898, in Teschen – 18 October 1944, in KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau) was a Silesia-born Austrian[1] composer, conductor and pianist of Jewish origin.

Viktor Ullmann was born on January 1, 1898 in Těšín (Teschen), modern Český Těšín / Cieszyn. It belonged then to Silesia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now divided between Cieszyn in Poland and Český Těšín in Czechoslovakia. Both his parents were from families of Jewish descent, but had converted to Roman Catholicism[2] before Viktor’s birth. As an assimilated Jew, his father, Maximilian, was able to pursue a career as a professional officer in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In World War I he was promoted to colonel and ennobled. Source Wikipedia

SFJewishFilmFestival

Yiddish Theater Director Szymon Szurmiej

23.07.2013
Szymon Szurmiej.jpg17.07.2014
Szymon Symcha Szurmiej (18 June 1923 − 16 July 2014) was a Polish-Jewish actor, director, and general manager of the Ester Rachel Kamińska and Ida Kamińska State Jewish Theater in Warsaw. He was formerly director of the Yiddish Theater of Warsaw.[1]Since July 2004, he has been an honorary citizen of Warsaw.[2] Member of the World Jewish Congress. aged 91. Source  Wikipedia

Szymon Szurmiej – Małgorzatka (Festiwal Warszawa Singera 2008)

12.03.11

Popular Yiddish theatre & Yiddish Language videos

German-Jewish Culture in Turkey | Arts.21

17.03.2013
In the 1930s, Turkey as the refuge for many persecuted European Jews. Artists and intellectuals, in particular, found safety from the Nazis here. But many of them left again when Turkish nationalism and anti-Semitism reared their heads in Turkey again in the 1950s. Those who remained enrich the city’s cultural life to this day. For more go to http://www.dw.de/program/arts21/s-788…

Hershey Felder

Felder was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 9, 1968 to Jacob Felder (born in Ustrzyki, Poland, 1929) and Eva Surek Felder (born in Budapest, Hungary, 1946). A first-generation North-American, much of Felder’s upbringing included Eastern European traditions, in particular traditions associated with the Jewish faith into which he was born. Early schooling included Hebrew Academy Day School of Montreal as well as synagogue affiliations with Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec.(Hershey Felder (born July 9, 1968) is a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director. He created (as playwright, actor, and pianist) the role of American composer George Gershwin for the theatrical stage in the stage play George Gershwin Alone. Combining the craft of acting and concert-level piano performance, George Gershwin Alone was followed by the creation of the role of Fryderyk Chopin, the Polish composer/pianist, the roles of Ludwig van Beethoven and Gerhard von Breuning inBeethoven, As I Knew Him, the role of Leonard Bernstein in The Making of a Maestro: Bernstein, and Franz Liszt in Rock Star. These works comprise “The Composer Sonata.”Wikipedia)

Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions with Michael Choen

27.06.2013
A book (Biography) was published about Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions by Michael Cohen.
With Shabbat and holidays music, that we all want to listen to and read the book.
Which will bring back the old good memories?
This book will bring back childhood memories.

To order a copy of this book please visit:
http://michaelcohenbook.com/

Natan Sharansky – This is Your Life – Limmud Conference 2013

30.12.2013
From being a refusenik in Russia to deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Natan has led an extraordinary life. He talks about his life to Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Daily Forward.

COJECO 10th Anniversary Celebration – Feliks Frenkel

Alon Nechushtan Videos

Alon Nechushtan Trio performs “Muppet Shock” at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. Celebrating the release of the “Words Beyond” CD on Buckyball Records.
Alon Nechustan – piano, Michael Bates – bass, Howard Owen – drums

Mark Rothko (Марк Ро́тко) Artworks and Analysis (Abstract Expressionist) – The Powerful Story of Art

06.07.2014
Mark Rothko (Latvian: Markus Rotkovičs, Russian: Марк Ро́тко; born Ма́ркус Я́ковлевич Ротко́вич; Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz; September 25, 1903 — February 25, 1970) was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He is generally identified as an Abstract Expressionist, although he himself rejected this label and even resisted classification as an “abstract painter.” With Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, he is one of the most famous postwar American artists.
“If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. This documentary is interested in expressing the big emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”

“Di farshtoysene” fun Y.-L. Perets (Khane Fishman-Gonshor)

30.06.2014
י.־ל. פּרץ און די ייִדישע פֿרױ
דריטער טײל, חלק ב’׃ „די פֿאַרשטױסענע”
חנה פֿישמאַן־גאָנשאָר

Lectures sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

דער לײענזאַל
Leyenzal – A Yiddish Literacy Project

Magillah : Rozhinkes mit Mandlen [Raisins and Almonds] (Live 2012)

02.08.2012
April 5th, 2012 – A huge yiddish hit by A. Goldfaden, from the yiddish theatre (Michelle Heisler – voice, Henri Oppenheim – accordion, Julie Triquet – violin, Andy Dacoulis – guitar, Mathieu Deschenaux, double bass, Eric Breton – drums, Damian Nisenson – sax).

Music In the Holocaust – A Sonja Larson Presentation



Encounters with the Past: Remembering the `Bygone’ in Israeli Culture: Part 1-3

02.07.2014
The University of Washington’s 34th Annual Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies featured Professor Yael Zerubavel, director of The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. Zerubavel concludes the three-part series, Encounters with the Past: Remembering the “Bygone” in Israeli Culture, by looking at the new commemorations of Israel’s pioneering period, which have transformed into an “old past.” These changes illuminate profound transformations in contemporary Israel and Israelis’ understanding of their identities as well as their pasts.

A Guest at the Forverts – Motl Gordon

Motl Gordon visits “FORVERTS”
A program hosted by Boris Sandler

The Pin at Anne Frank Center

06.11.2013

L’Chayim – Janusz Makcuh – Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow

16.06.2014
The non-Jewish founder and director of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, Janusz Makuch sits to discuss his connection to the Jewish heritage and how he came to create one of the largest Jewish culture festivals in the world. With Mark S. Golub on LChayim.

The Dorel Livianu Music Museum

The Belzer Rebbe by the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5774 אדמו”ר של בעלז בכותל בראש חודש סיוון

31.05.2014

Answering Kidnapping with Kindness – Salomon Says

22.06.2014
Our role in the rescue mission

Please pray for the safe and speedy return of Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim, and Eyal ben Iris Teshura.

For more articles and videos by Rabbi Salomon visit http://www.aish.com

Special Mass Prayer at Talmon

20.06.2014

The Jewish Mobsters

Etgar Keret

Talk Yiddish To Me (Nisht-Dirty Parody)

Doni zasloff thomas

 

Elie Wiesel Interview with Oprah

Ben Gurion University

Lithuanian Jewish Culture

Temani Yemanie Hebrews

JEWISH WORLD : JewishNewsOne

Israel and Jewish Culture Michael Laitman

Popular Festival of Jewish Culture in Warsaw videos

 

Popular San Francisco Jewish Film Festival videos SFJFF Presents: The Tailor

12.02.2014
Culture and confusion meet on a Brooklyn street, in this hilariously charming tale of similarities amid diversity. Film directed by Gordon Grinberg

This short film is part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival short film showcase program, SFJFF Presents. To discover more great Jewish short films each month, join the SFJFF YouTube channel by clicking the red SUBSCRIBE button above.

For more details about SFJFF films and programs, visit http://www/sfjff.org.

24j-latest2

 

Orthodox Union Orthodox Union
Today in Israel, children and teens in bomb shelters are profoundly affected by the continual Hamas bombardment. They in particular need emotional and physical support right away. The OU is providing that assistance and you can help now, by supporting the Orthodox Union’s Israel Emergency Fund. 100% of proceeds go directly to help people in need.

The OU Israel team has programs currently in action across the country. Whether it’s offering respite to traumatized children and teens in the south with day trips to northern Israel away from the barrage of rockets, providing called-up IDF reservists with food and artwork from children, or providing psychological services in towns like Sderot, Beit Shemesh and Ofakim, your support provides direct assistance during this period of uncertainty.

In the coming days OU Israel’s efforts will expand to other towns and cities in need and so we ask for help in ensuring their success.

Support the Orthodox Union’s Israel Emergency Fund.Please share this:   Facebook   |   Twitter

With much appreciation,

Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
Executive Vice President, Emeritus
Orthodox Union

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peace

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peacePosted: 15 Jul 2014 07:04 AM PDT

10504985_10154414238775171_7317168910845165076_oI don’t usually fast on the 17th of Tamuz.

For that matter, I didn’t even take on the practice of fasting for Tisha b’Av until a few years ago. (See This year’s wrestle with Tisha b’Av, 2011.) I didn’t grow up observing the minor fasts, and I’ve never taken them on as a practice.

Instead I’ve tended toward finding other ways of understanding 17th Tammuz. Instead of focusing on the breach of Jerusalem’s walls 2,586 years ago, I ponder breaches in the emotional walls which keep us safe, or the internal and interpersonal walls which need to come down in order for genuine connections to form.

But this year there is so much trauma and tragedy in Israel and Palestine, so much grief and destruction and fear happening right now, that I am fasting today and I am dedicating my fast to peace, compassion and kindness in that beloved corner of our world where so many people are suffering.

This was not my idea. Across Israel and Palestine, groups of Jews and Muslims are consciously choosing to fast on this day in solidarity with one another as what was initially called a Hunger Strike Against Violence, and has become part of an initiative called בוחרים בחיים / اختيار الحياة / Choose Life. The idea came from Eliaz Cohen, an Israeli Jew who lives in Gush Etzion, and Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian Muslim who lives in Beit Ummar, north of Khalil (Hebron). Cohen is a poet and a self-identified second-generation “settler kid” who supports the idea of one homeland for two peoples. Abu Awwad is founder of Al Tariq (The Way), which teaches Palestinians principles of nonviolent resistance.

(For more, see the front-page story in yesterday’s Times of IsraelAided by calendar, Jews and Arabs Unite in Joint Fast: West Bank activists organize Choose Life, a shared initiative to combat political violence and promote coexistence.)

ChooselifeprayerThough the fast originated in the Middle East, it has spread around the globe. Joint Jewish-Muslim fasts (and dual-faith study sessions and communal joint iftar / break-the-fast meals) are taking place not only in Israel and Palestine but also around the United States, in various locations around Europe, even in Kuwait. (For more information, you can check out the Choose Life FB page; for English speakers, I recommend the parallel site Fast for Peace, which arose independently but is very much the same.)

What does abstaining from food and drink for a day actually accomplish? I know that it won’t change the external realities on the ground. But communal fasting is a very old Jewish way of connecting with others in grief and in hope. I hope that the fast will make an impact on we who are participating in it, and will inspire us to take action to bring peace and healing. And perhaps the fast will bring some hope to those who hear or read about it, and will inspire them to take action, too. Here’s something written by Rabbi Jill Jacobs at T’ruah:

As Jews, we know that fasting is one of our tradition’s main expressions of a public crisis. While most of us don’t believe that God will literally heed our fast and come to intervene, we nevertheless yearn for a way to express our sorrow and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Publicly embracing an interfaith  spiritual action is a small step, but it is better than privately wringing our hands and beating our breasts.

I know from my other experiences of religious fasting (on Yom Kippur, which I’ve done almost every year since I became bat mitzvah, and on Tisha b’Av in more recent years) that a religious fast entails a kind of spiritual journey. I was in one spiritual / emotional place when the fast began this morning; I expect that I will be in a different place by the time it is over. I won’t know where the journey is going to take me until I get there.

The original call to fast for peace arises out of the violence, fear, and heartbreak happening in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza right now. There’s a natural commonality in the fact that both Jewish and the Muslim communities will be fasting today from sunup to sundown. I am glad to join Jews and Muslims around the world in dedicating our fast to praying for an end to the violence in the Middle East.

I also find myself returning to prayers for kindness and compassion, both in those wartorn places and in the rest of this world. The violence isn’t happening on the ground where I live, but the hatred and mistrust which have ousted kindness and compassion from the hearts of those who commit that violence — that hatred and mistrust are everywhere.

Fastforpeace-01My online friend Lee Weissman, who blogs and tweets under the moniker Jihadi Jew, recently posted that he can no longer engage in conversations about Israel and Palestine via social media because the vitriol is so great that he has given up that public discourse. I understand the impulse. The rhetoric I’ve been seeing (from all “sides”) has been bringing me to the brink of panic attacksbecause I am so emotionally invested that my heart feels bruised by every instance of violence, every angry comment, every insistence that “they” deserve whatever they get. If we can’t collectively transcend that kind of thinking, I don’t see how the situation will ever improve.

17 Tamuz is the day when the Jewish community remembers the breach of Jerusalem’s city walls by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That breach was the first damage to the city’s integrity. Three weeks later, the Babylonian army destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews. This year what is broken on 17 Tamuz is my heart. I’ve always been a “sensitive soul,” moved by strong emotion (both my own feelings, and those expressed by those around me). And I was in Israel and the West Bank only a few months ago, which rekindled my feeling of connection with that land and with its peoples. Maybe these are the reasons why this year the renewed violence and bloodshed there are so emotionally and spiritually devastating to me.

In the traditional Jewish understanding, a public communal fast can be a tool of teshuvah / turning-toward-God, an expression of grief and mourning, and/or an opportunity for supplication and pleading with God. My fast against violence today aims to be all three of these. I seek to make teshuvah for the ways I’ve been complicit in allowing violence to continue. I grieve every single death in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most especially those of children. And I ask God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might to help us build a different world, a world of connection and compassion and peace. Please, God, please, God, please.

I’ll close this post with a prayer written by Sheikh Ibtisam Mahamid and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, distributed by the Choose Life folks along with prayers and scriptural quotations for study in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. They write:

God of Life
Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds

May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers
For you did not create us to kill each other
Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world
But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify
Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world.

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water
For our children crying at nights,
For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts
For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

And with my tears and prayers which I pray
And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days
I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us
Hear our voice that we shall not despair
That we shall see life in each other,
That we shall have mercy for each other,
That we shall have pity on each other,
That we shall hope for each other

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life
For your sake God of Life
Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,
And so shall be your will and let us say Amen.

Amen.


German-Jewish cultural heritage in China | DW.DE
DW presents a look at the development of German-Jewish culturalheritage in China.
dw.de

A prayer in remembrance – now in Hebrew

A prayer in remembrance – now in HebrewPosted: 14 Jul 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Not long ago I posted a prayer co-written with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in remembrance of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. (It’s here: A prayer in remembrance.)

Rabbi Lila Veissid, who serves Kibbutz Ha-Ma’apil in central Israel,  has translated that prayer into Hebrew. With her gracious permission, her translation is reprinted here.

 

תפילת זיכרון
מאת הרבה רחל ברנבלט
והרבה לין גוטליב

 

יהי רצון שזכרם של בנינו
שנהרגו בשל שנאה חסרת פשר
יהיה לברכה.

יהי רצון שרוחם תעלה
ותתנחם בחיבוקה החם
והאימהי של אלוהים.

יהי רצון שילדינו היקרים יהיו בטוחים מכל צרה.
יהי רצון שכל הילדים יהיו ילדינו.
יהי רצון שנגן על כל ההורים מן השכול.

יהי רצון שלבבנו ולבבם של בני עמנו
יירפא במהרה בימינו
מפצעי העבר וההווה.

יהי רצון שכל הורה אבֵל ימצא ניחומים.
יהי רצון שנזכה לראות את היום
שבו לא יהיו עוד הורים אבֵלים
(You can read the prayer in English at the original post: A prayer in remembrance, July 3 2014.)

Poetry and prayer are all I’ve gotPosted: 13 Jul 2014 04:44 AM PDT

I have been watching the news (and reading blog posts and tweets and Facebook updates) out of Israel and the Palestinian territories with a sense of unbearable heartbreak. It brings me to the brink of something like a panic attack: my chest tightening, my throat choked with tears, the embodied feeling that the grief will wash me away altogether. And I am aware that those who live there are experiencing something far more powerful.

The only thing which brings any comfort is poetry and prayer. Bethlehem Blogger posted A prayer in times of violence,which though it is explicitly Christian speaks to me nonetheless. Wendell Berry’s poem The peace of wild things speaks right to my heart. I daven the oseh shalom blessing — “may the One Who makes peace in the high heavens make peace also for us” — with particular fervor.

If there are prayers or poems which bring you comfort at times like these, please feel free to share them in the comments so that other readers (and I) can benefit from them.

I wrote a prayer in 2012 called Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim, which begins:

For every aspiring ballerina huddled
scared in a basement bomb shelter

For every toddler in his mother’s arms
    behind rubble of concrete and rebar

For every child who’s learned to distinguish
“our” bombs from “their” bombs by sound…

 

I hate that it is once again resonant. I yearn for the day when this prayer will look outdated and ridiculous — when the children of our children, running across this prayer in some shred of their grandparents’ generation, will say “I can’t believe that war went on for so long.” Please, God, may the day come speedily and soon.

 

Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section


צוק איתן – קליפ המוקדש באהבה לכל חיילי צה״ל

20.07.2014

 

Massei-kl

WEEKLY Parshat Hashavuah 

 

 

tisha-net
 Shiurim Tisha B’Av  language  hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

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Architect of the Jewish Future (Mordecai M. Kaplan)

21.03.2014 The Program for Jewish Civilization, the Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood, and the Department of Jewish Studies of McGill University are hosted a conference on the life, work, and legacy of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan.

Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983) is now widely acknowledged to have been one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the 20th century as a founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. During the conference presenters explored the ways in which his thought may be even more important in the 21st century.

24j-latest-kl

JewishOperaLives!@KulturFestival,FAU

140306 Rachel’s Romance – from LA JUIVE 19.03.2014
Soprano Helene Williams, accompanied at the piano by Leonard Lehrman, sings Rachel’s Romance, “Il va venir,” from Act II of Jacques Fromental Halevy’s LA JUIVE, at the Jewish Kultur Festival of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Mar. 6, 2014.

Popular Erwin Schulhoff Videos

Schulhoff Mayerova 1931.jpgErwin Schulhoff (Czech: Ervín Šulhov; 8 June 1894 – 18 August 1942) was a Czech composer and pianist. He was one of the figures in the generation of European musicians whose successful careers were prematurely terminated by the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany and whose works have been rarely noted or performed.

Schulhoff was born in Prague into a family of Jewish German origin. The noted pianist and composer Julius Schulhoff was his great-uncle. Source Wikipedia

Popular Alfred Schnittke Videos

 

Alfred Schnittke April 6 1989 Moscow.jpgAlfred Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́ткеAl’fred Garrievič Šnitke; November 24, 1934 – August 3, 1998) was a Sovietand Russian composer. Schnittke’s early music shows the strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic First Symphony (1969–1972) and First Concerto Grosso (1977). In the 1980s, Schnittke’s music began to become more widely known abroad with the publication of his Second (1980) and Third (1983) String Quartets and the String Trio (1985); the ballet Peer Gynt (1985–1987); the Third (1981), Fourth (1984), and Fifth (1988) Symphonies; and the Viola (1985) and 1st Cello (1985–1986) Concertos. As his health deteriorated, Schnittke’s music started to abandon much of the extroversion of his polystylism and retreated into a more withdrawn, bleak style.Schnittke’s father, Harry Viktorovich Schnittke (1914–1975, rus.), was Jewish and born in Frankfurt.[1] He moved to the USSR in 1927 and worked as a journalist and translatorfrom the Russian language into German. His mother, Maria Iosifovna Schnittke (née Vogel, 1910–1972), was a Volga German born in Russia. Schnittke’s paternal grandmother, Tea Abramovna Katz (1889–1970), was a philologist, translator, and editor of German-language literature. Source Wikipedia

Popular Viktor Ullmann Videos

Viktor Ullmann (1 January 1898, in Teschen – 18 October 1944, in KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau) was a Silesia-born Austrian[1] composer, conductor and pianist of Jewish origin.

Viktor Ullmann was born on January 1, 1898 in Těšín (Teschen), modern Český Těšín / Cieszyn. It belonged then to Silesia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now divided between Cieszyn in Poland and Český Těšín in Czechoslovakia. Both his parents were from families of Jewish descent, but had converted to Roman Catholicism[2] before Viktor’s birth. As an assimilated Jew, his father, Maximilian, was able to pursue a career as a professional officer in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In World War I he was promoted to colonel and ennobled. Source Wikipedia

SFJewishFilmFestival

Yiddish Theater Director Szymon Szurmiej

23.07.2013
Szymon Szurmiej.jpg17.07.2014
Szymon Symcha Szurmiej (18 June 1923 − 16 July 2014) was a Polish-Jewish actor, director, and general manager of the Ester Rachel Kamińska and Ida Kamińska State Jewish Theater in Warsaw. He was formerly director of the Yiddish Theater of Warsaw.[1]Since July 2004, he has been an honorary citizen of Warsaw.[2] Member of the World Jewish Congress. aged 91. Source  Wikipedia

Szymon Szurmiej – Małgorzatka (Festiwal Warszawa Singera 2008)

12.03.11

Popular Yiddish theatre & Yiddish Language videos

German-Jewish Culture in Turkey | Arts.21

17.03.2013
In the 1930s, Turkey as the refuge for many persecuted European Jews. Artists and intellectuals, in particular, found safety from the Nazis here. But many of them left again when Turkish nationalism and anti-Semitism reared their heads in Turkey again in the 1950s. Those who remained enrich the city’s cultural life to this day. For more go to http://www.dw.de/program/arts21/s-788…

Hershey Felder

Felder was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 9, 1968 to Jacob Felder (born in Ustrzyki, Poland, 1929) and Eva Surek Felder (born in Budapest, Hungary, 1946). A first-generation North-American, much of Felder’s upbringing included Eastern European traditions, in particular traditions associated with the Jewish faith into which he was born. Early schooling included Hebrew Academy Day School of Montreal as well as synagogue affiliations with Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec.(Hershey Felder (born July 9, 1968) is a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director. He created (as playwright, actor, and pianist) the role of American composer George Gershwin for the theatrical stage in the stage play George Gershwin Alone. Combining the craft of acting and concert-level piano performance, George Gershwin Alone was followed by the creation of the role of Fryderyk Chopin, the Polish composer/pianist, the roles of Ludwig van Beethoven and Gerhard von Breuning inBeethoven, As I Knew Him, the role of Leonard Bernstein in The Making of a Maestro: Bernstein, and Franz Liszt in Rock Star. These works comprise “The Composer Sonata.”Wikipedia)

Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions with Michael Choen

27.06.2013
A book (Biography) was published about Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions by Michael Cohen.
With Shabbat and holidays music, that we all want to listen to and read the book.
Which will bring back the old good memories?
This book will bring back childhood memories.

To order a copy of this book please visit:
http://michaelcohenbook.com/

Natan Sharansky – This is Your Life – Limmud Conference 2013

30.12.2013
From being a refusenik in Russia to deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Natan has led an extraordinary life. He talks about his life to Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Daily Forward.

COJECO 10th Anniversary Celebration – Feliks Frenkel

Alon Nechushtan Videos

Alon Nechushtan Trio performs “Muppet Shock” at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. Celebrating the release of the “Words Beyond” CD on Buckyball Records.
Alon Nechustan – piano, Michael Bates – bass, Howard Owen – drums

Mark Rothko (Марк Ро́тко) Artworks and Analysis (Abstract Expressionist) – The Powerful Story of Art

06.07.2014
Mark Rothko (Latvian: Markus Rotkovičs, Russian: Марк Ро́тко; born Ма́ркус Я́ковлевич Ротко́вич; Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz; September 25, 1903 — February 25, 1970) was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He is generally identified as an Abstract Expressionist, although he himself rejected this label and even resisted classification as an “abstract painter.” With Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, he is one of the most famous postwar American artists.
“If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. This documentary is interested in expressing the big emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”

“Di farshtoysene” fun Y.-L. Perets (Khane Fishman-Gonshor)

30.06.2014
י.־ל. פּרץ און די ייִדישע פֿרױ
דריטער טײל, חלק ב’׃ „די פֿאַרשטױסענע”
חנה פֿישמאַן־גאָנשאָר

Lectures sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

דער לײענזאַל
Leyenzal – A Yiddish Literacy Project

Magillah : Rozhinkes mit Mandlen [Raisins and Almonds] (Live 2012)

02.08.2012
April 5th, 2012 – A huge yiddish hit by A. Goldfaden, from the yiddish theatre (Michelle Heisler – voice, Henri Oppenheim – accordion, Julie Triquet – violin, Andy Dacoulis – guitar, Mathieu Deschenaux, double bass, Eric Breton – drums, Damian Nisenson – sax).

Music In the Holocaust – A Sonja Larson Presentation



Encounters with the Past: Remembering the `Bygone’ in Israeli Culture: Part 1-3

02.07.2014
The University of Washington’s 34th Annual Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies featured Professor Yael Zerubavel, director of The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. Zerubavel concludes the three-part series, Encounters with the Past: Remembering the “Bygone” in Israeli Culture, by looking at the new commemorations of Israel’s pioneering period, which have transformed into an “old past.” These changes illuminate profound transformations in contemporary Israel and Israelis’ understanding of their identities as well as their pasts.

A Guest at the Forverts – Motl Gordon

Motl Gordon visits “FORVERTS”
A program hosted by Boris Sandler

The Pin at Anne Frank Center

06.11.2013

L’Chayim – Janusz Makcuh – Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow

16.06.2014
The non-Jewish founder and director of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, Janusz Makuch sits to discuss his connection to the Jewish heritage and how he came to create one of the largest Jewish culture festivals in the world. With Mark S. Golub on LChayim.

The Dorel Livianu Music Museum

The Belzer Rebbe by the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5774 אדמו”ר של בעלז בכותל בראש חודש סיוון

31.05.2014

Answering Kidnapping with Kindness – Salomon Says

22.06.2014
Our role in the rescue mission

Please pray for the safe and speedy return of Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim, and Eyal ben Iris Teshura.

For more articles and videos by Rabbi Salomon visit http://www.aish.com

Special Mass Prayer at Talmon

20.06.2014

The Jewish Mobsters

Etgar Keret

Talk Yiddish To Me (Nisht-Dirty Parody)

Doni zasloff thomas

 

Elie Wiesel Interview with Oprah

Ben Gurion University

Lithuanian Jewish Culture

Temani Yemanie Hebrews

JEWISH WORLD : JewishNewsOne

Israel and Jewish Culture Michael Laitman

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Popular San Francisco Jewish Film Festival videos SFJFF Presents: The Tailor

12.02.2014
Culture and confusion meet on a Brooklyn street, in this hilariously charming tale of similarities amid diversity. Film directed by Gordon Grinberg

This short film is part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival short film showcase program, SFJFF Presents. To discover more great Jewish short films each month, join the SFJFF YouTube channel by clicking the red SUBSCRIBE button above.

For more details about SFJFF films and programs, visit http://www/sfjff.org.

24j-latest2

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peace

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peacePosted: 15 Jul 2014 07:04 AM PDT

10504985_10154414238775171_7317168910845165076_oI don’t usually fast on the 17th of Tamuz.

For that matter, I didn’t even take on the practice of fasting for Tisha b’Av until a few years ago. (See This year’s wrestle with Tisha b’Av, 2011.) I didn’t grow up observing the minor fasts, and I’ve never taken them on as a practice.

Instead I’ve tended toward finding other ways of understanding 17th Tammuz. Instead of focusing on the breach of Jerusalem’s walls 2,586 years ago, I ponder breaches in the emotional walls which keep us safe, or the internal and interpersonal walls which need to come down in order for genuine connections to form.

But this year there is so much trauma and tragedy in Israel and Palestine, so much grief and destruction and fear happening right now, that I am fasting today and I am dedicating my fast to peace, compassion and kindness in that beloved corner of our world where so many people are suffering.

This was not my idea. Across Israel and Palestine, groups of Jews and Muslims are consciously choosing to fast on this day in solidarity with one another as what was initially called a Hunger Strike Against Violence, and has become part of an initiative called בוחרים בחיים / اختيار الحياة / Choose Life. The idea came from Eliaz Cohen, an Israeli Jew who lives in Gush Etzion, and Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian Muslim who lives in Beit Ummar, north of Khalil (Hebron). Cohen is a poet and a self-identified second-generation “settler kid” who supports the idea of one homeland for two peoples. Abu Awwad is founder of Al Tariq (The Way), which teaches Palestinians principles of nonviolent resistance.

(For more, see the front-page story in yesterday’s Times of IsraelAided by calendar, Jews and Arabs Unite in Joint Fast: West Bank activists organize Choose Life, a shared initiative to combat political violence and promote coexistence.)

ChooselifeprayerThough the fast originated in the Middle East, it has spread around the globe. Joint Jewish-Muslim fasts (and dual-faith study sessions and communal joint iftar / break-the-fast meals) are taking place not only in Israel and Palestine but also around the United States, in various locations around Europe, even in Kuwait. (For more information, you can check out the Choose Life FB page; for English speakers, I recommend the parallel site Fast for Peace, which arose independently but is very much the same.)

What does abstaining from food and drink for a day actually accomplish? I know that it won’t change the external realities on the ground. But communal fasting is a very old Jewish way of connecting with others in grief and in hope. I hope that the fast will make an impact on we who are participating in it, and will inspire us to take action to bring peace and healing. And perhaps the fast will bring some hope to those who hear or read about it, and will inspire them to take action, too. Here’s something written by Rabbi Jill Jacobs at T’ruah:

As Jews, we know that fasting is one of our tradition’s main expressions of a public crisis. While most of us don’t believe that God will literally heed our fast and come to intervene, we nevertheless yearn for a way to express our sorrow and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Publicly embracing an interfaith  spiritual action is a small step, but it is better than privately wringing our hands and beating our breasts.

I know from my other experiences of religious fasting (on Yom Kippur, which I’ve done almost every year since I became bat mitzvah, and on Tisha b’Av in more recent years) that a religious fast entails a kind of spiritual journey. I was in one spiritual / emotional place when the fast began this morning; I expect that I will be in a different place by the time it is over. I won’t know where the journey is going to take me until I get there.

The original call to fast for peace arises out of the violence, fear, and heartbreak happening in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza right now. There’s a natural commonality in the fact that both Jewish and the Muslim communities will be fasting today from sunup to sundown. I am glad to join Jews and Muslims around the world in dedicating our fast to praying for an end to the violence in the Middle East.

I also find myself returning to prayers for kindness and compassion, both in those wartorn places and in the rest of this world. The violence isn’t happening on the ground where I live, but the hatred and mistrust which have ousted kindness and compassion from the hearts of those who commit that violence — that hatred and mistrust are everywhere.

Fastforpeace-01My online friend Lee Weissman, who blogs and tweets under the moniker Jihadi Jew, recently posted that he can no longer engage in conversations about Israel and Palestine via social media because the vitriol is so great that he has given up that public discourse. I understand the impulse. The rhetoric I’ve been seeing (from all “sides”) has been bringing me to the brink of panic attacksbecause I am so emotionally invested that my heart feels bruised by every instance of violence, every angry comment, every insistence that “they” deserve whatever they get. If we can’t collectively transcend that kind of thinking, I don’t see how the situation will ever improve.

17 Tamuz is the day when the Jewish community remembers the breach of Jerusalem’s city walls by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That breach was the first damage to the city’s integrity. Three weeks later, the Babylonian army destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews. This year what is broken on 17 Tamuz is my heart. I’ve always been a “sensitive soul,” moved by strong emotion (both my own feelings, and those expressed by those around me). And I was in Israel and the West Bank only a few months ago, which rekindled my feeling of connection with that land and with its peoples. Maybe these are the reasons why this year the renewed violence and bloodshed there are so emotionally and spiritually devastating to me.

In the traditional Jewish understanding, a public communal fast can be a tool of teshuvah / turning-toward-God, an expression of grief and mourning, and/or an opportunity for supplication and pleading with God. My fast against violence today aims to be all three of these. I seek to make teshuvah for the ways I’ve been complicit in allowing violence to continue. I grieve every single death in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most especially those of children. And I ask God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might to help us build a different world, a world of connection and compassion and peace. Please, God, please, God, please.

I’ll close this post with a prayer written by Sheikh Ibtisam Mahamid and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, distributed by the Choose Life folks along with prayers and scriptural quotations for study in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. They write:

God of Life
Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds

May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers
For you did not create us to kill each other
Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world
But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify
Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world.

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water
For our children crying at nights,
For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts
For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

And with my tears and prayers which I pray
And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days
I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us
Hear our voice that we shall not despair
That we shall see life in each other,
That we shall have mercy for each other,
That we shall have pity on each other,
That we shall hope for each other

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life
For your sake God of Life
Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,
And so shall be your will and let us say Amen.

Amen.


German-Jewish cultural heritage in China | DW.DE
DW presents a look at the development of German-Jewish culturalheritage in China.
dw.de

A prayer in remembrance – now in Hebrew

A prayer in remembrance – now in HebrewPosted: 14 Jul 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Not long ago I posted a prayer co-written with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in remembrance of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. (It’s here: A prayer in remembrance.)

Rabbi Lila Veissid, who serves Kibbutz Ha-Ma’apil in central Israel,  has translated that prayer into Hebrew. With her gracious permission, her translation is reprinted here.

 

תפילת זיכרון
מאת הרבה רחל ברנבלט
והרבה לין גוטליב

 

יהי רצון שזכרם של בנינו
שנהרגו בשל שנאה חסרת פשר
יהיה לברכה.

יהי רצון שרוחם תעלה
ותתנחם בחיבוקה החם
והאימהי של אלוהים.

יהי רצון שילדינו היקרים יהיו בטוחים מכל צרה.
יהי רצון שכל הילדים יהיו ילדינו.
יהי רצון שנגן על כל ההורים מן השכול.

יהי רצון שלבבנו ולבבם של בני עמנו
יירפא במהרה בימינו
מפצעי העבר וההווה.

יהי רצון שכל הורה אבֵל ימצא ניחומים.
יהי רצון שנזכה לראות את היום
שבו לא יהיו עוד הורים אבֵלים
(You can read the prayer in English at the original post: A prayer in remembrance, July 3 2014.)

Poetry and prayer are all I’ve gotPosted: 13 Jul 2014 04:44 AM PDT

I have been watching the news (and reading blog posts and tweets and Facebook updates) out of Israel and the Palestinian territories with a sense of unbearable heartbreak. It brings me to the brink of something like a panic attack: my chest tightening, my throat choked with tears, the embodied feeling that the grief will wash me away altogether. And I am aware that those who live there are experiencing something far more powerful.

The only thing which brings any comfort is poetry and prayer. Bethlehem Blogger posted A prayer in times of violence,which though it is explicitly Christian speaks to me nonetheless. Wendell Berry’s poem The peace of wild things speaks right to my heart. I daven the oseh shalom blessing — “may the One Who makes peace in the high heavens make peace also for us” — with particular fervor.

If there are prayers or poems which bring you comfort at times like these, please feel free to share them in the comments so that other readers (and I) can benefit from them.

I wrote a prayer in 2012 called Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim, which begins:

For every aspiring ballerina huddled
scared in a basement bomb shelter

For every toddler in his mother’s arms
    behind rubble of concrete and rebar

For every child who’s learned to distinguish
“our” bombs from “their” bombs by sound…

 

I hate that it is once again resonant. I yearn for the day when this prayer will look outdated and ridiculous — when the children of our children, running across this prayer in some shred of their grandparents’ generation, will say “I can’t believe that war went on for so long.” Please, God, may the day come speedily and soon.

 

Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section


צוק איתן – קליפ המוקדש באהבה לכל חיילי צה״ל

20.07.2014

 

Massei-kl

WEEKLY Parshat Hashavuah 

 

 

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 Shiurim Tisha B’Av  language  hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

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Architect of the Jewish Future (Mordecai M. Kaplan)

21.03.2014 The Program for Jewish Civilization, the Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood, and the Department of Jewish Studies of McGill University are hosted a conference on the life, work, and legacy of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan.

Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983) is now widely acknowledged to have been one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the 20th century as a founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. During the conference presenters explored the ways in which his thought may be even more important in the 21st century.

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JewishOperaLives!@KulturFestival,FAU

140306 Rachel’s Romance – from LA JUIVE 19.03.2014
Soprano Helene Williams, accompanied at the piano by Leonard Lehrman, sings Rachel’s Romance, “Il va venir,” from Act II of Jacques Fromental Halevy’s LA JUIVE, at the Jewish Kultur Festival of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Mar. 6, 2014.

Popular Erwin Schulhoff Videos

Schulhoff Mayerova 1931.jpgErwin Schulhoff (Czech: Ervín Šulhov; 8 June 1894 – 18 August 1942) was a Czech composer and pianist. He was one of the figures in the generation of European musicians whose successful careers were prematurely terminated by the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany and whose works have been rarely noted or performed.

Schulhoff was born in Prague into a family of Jewish German origin. The noted pianist and composer Julius Schulhoff was his great-uncle. Source Wikipedia

Popular Alfred Schnittke Videos

 

Alfred Schnittke April 6 1989 Moscow.jpgAlfred Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́ткеAl’fred Garrievič Šnitke; November 24, 1934 – August 3, 1998) was a Sovietand Russian composer. Schnittke’s early music shows the strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic First Symphony (1969–1972) and First Concerto Grosso (1977). In the 1980s, Schnittke’s music began to become more widely known abroad with the publication of his Second (1980) and Third (1983) String Quartets and the String Trio (1985); the ballet Peer Gynt (1985–1987); the Third (1981), Fourth (1984), and Fifth (1988) Symphonies; and the Viola (1985) and 1st Cello (1985–1986) Concertos. As his health deteriorated, Schnittke’s music started to abandon much of the extroversion of his polystylism and retreated into a more withdrawn, bleak style.Schnittke’s father, Harry Viktorovich Schnittke (1914–1975, rus.), was Jewish and born in Frankfurt.[1] He moved to the USSR in 1927 and worked as a journalist and translatorfrom the Russian language into German. His mother, Maria Iosifovna Schnittke (née Vogel, 1910–1972), was a Volga German born in Russia. Schnittke’s paternal grandmother, Tea Abramovna Katz (1889–1970), was a philologist, translator, and editor of German-language literature. Source Wikipedia

Popular Viktor Ullmann Videos

Viktor Ullmann (1 January 1898, in Teschen – 18 October 1944, in KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau) was a Silesia-born Austrian[1] composer, conductor and pianist of Jewish origin.

Viktor Ullmann was born on January 1, 1898 in Těšín (Teschen), modern Český Těšín / Cieszyn. It belonged then to Silesia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now divided between Cieszyn in Poland and Český Těšín in Czechoslovakia. Both his parents were from families of Jewish descent, but had converted to Roman Catholicism[2] before Viktor’s birth. As an assimilated Jew, his father, Maximilian, was able to pursue a career as a professional officer in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In World War I he was promoted to colonel and ennobled. Source Wikipedia

SFJewishFilmFestival

Yiddish Theater Director Szymon Szurmiej

23.07.2013
Szymon Szurmiej.jpg17.07.2014
Szymon Symcha Szurmiej (18 June 1923 − 16 July 2014) was a Polish-Jewish actor, director, and general manager of the Ester Rachel Kamińska and Ida Kamińska State Jewish Theater in Warsaw. He was formerly director of the Yiddish Theater of Warsaw.[1]Since July 2004, he has been an honorary citizen of Warsaw.[2] Member of the World Jewish Congress. aged 91. Source  Wikipedia

Szymon Szurmiej – Małgorzatka (Festiwal Warszawa Singera 2008)

12.03.11

Popular Yiddish theatre & Yiddish Language videos

German-Jewish Culture in Turkey | Arts.21

17.03.2013
In the 1930s, Turkey as the refuge for many persecuted European Jews. Artists and intellectuals, in particular, found safety from the Nazis here. But many of them left again when Turkish nationalism and anti-Semitism reared their heads in Turkey again in the 1950s. Those who remained enrich the city’s cultural life to this day. For more go to http://www.dw.de/program/arts21/s-788…

Hershey Felder

Felder was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 9, 1968 to Jacob Felder (born in Ustrzyki, Poland, 1929) and Eva Surek Felder (born in Budapest, Hungary, 1946). A first-generation North-American, much of Felder’s upbringing included Eastern European traditions, in particular traditions associated with the Jewish faith into which he was born. Early schooling included Hebrew Academy Day School of Montreal as well as synagogue affiliations with Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec.(Hershey Felder (born July 9, 1968) is a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director. He created (as playwright, actor, and pianist) the role of American composer George Gershwin for the theatrical stage in the stage play George Gershwin Alone. Combining the craft of acting and concert-level piano performance, George Gershwin Alone was followed by the creation of the role of Fryderyk Chopin, the Polish composer/pianist, the roles of Ludwig van Beethoven and Gerhard von Breuning inBeethoven, As I Knew Him, the role of Leonard Bernstein in The Making of a Maestro: Bernstein, and Franz Liszt in Rock Star. These works comprise “The Composer Sonata.”Wikipedia)

Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions with Michael Choen

27.06.2013
A book (Biography) was published about Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions by Michael Cohen.
With Shabbat and holidays music, that we all want to listen to and read the book.
Which will bring back the old good memories?
This book will bring back childhood memories.

To order a copy of this book please visit:
http://michaelcohenbook.com/

Natan Sharansky – This is Your Life – Limmud Conference 2013

30.12.2013
From being a refusenik in Russia to deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Natan has led an extraordinary life. He talks about his life to Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Daily Forward.

COJECO 10th Anniversary Celebration – Feliks Frenkel

Alon Nechushtan Videos

Alon Nechushtan Trio performs “Muppet Shock” at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. Celebrating the release of the “Words Beyond” CD on Buckyball Records.
Alon Nechustan – piano, Michael Bates – bass, Howard Owen – drums

Mark Rothko (Марк Ро́тко) Artworks and Analysis (Abstract Expressionist) – The Powerful Story of Art

06.07.2014
Mark Rothko (Latvian: Markus Rotkovičs, Russian: Марк Ро́тко; born Ма́ркус Я́ковлевич Ротко́вич; Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz; September 25, 1903 — February 25, 1970) was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He is generally identified as an Abstract Expressionist, although he himself rejected this label and even resisted classification as an “abstract painter.” With Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, he is one of the most famous postwar American artists.
“If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. This documentary is interested in expressing the big emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”

“Di farshtoysene” fun Y.-L. Perets (Khane Fishman-Gonshor)

30.06.2014
י.־ל. פּרץ און די ייִדישע פֿרױ
דריטער טײל, חלק ב’׃ „די פֿאַרשטױסענע”
חנה פֿישמאַן־גאָנשאָר

Lectures sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

דער לײענזאַל
Leyenzal – A Yiddish Literacy Project

Magillah : Rozhinkes mit Mandlen [Raisins and Almonds] (Live 2012)

02.08.2012
April 5th, 2012 – A huge yiddish hit by A. Goldfaden, from the yiddish theatre (Michelle Heisler – voice, Henri Oppenheim – accordion, Julie Triquet – violin, Andy Dacoulis – guitar, Mathieu Deschenaux, double bass, Eric Breton – drums, Damian Nisenson – sax).

Music In the Holocaust – A Sonja Larson Presentation



Encounters with the Past: Remembering the `Bygone’ in Israeli Culture: Part 1-3

02.07.2014
The University of Washington’s 34th Annual Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies featured Professor Yael Zerubavel, director of The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. Zerubavel concludes the three-part series, Encounters with the Past: Remembering the “Bygone” in Israeli Culture, by looking at the new commemorations of Israel’s pioneering period, which have transformed into an “old past.” These changes illuminate profound transformations in contemporary Israel and Israelis’ understanding of their identities as well as their pasts.

A Guest at the Forverts – Motl Gordon

Motl Gordon visits “FORVERTS”
A program hosted by Boris Sandler

The Pin at Anne Frank Center

06.11.2013

L’Chayim – Janusz Makcuh – Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow

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The non-Jewish founder and director of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, Janusz Makuch sits to discuss his connection to the Jewish heritage and how he came to create one of the largest Jewish culture festivals in the world. With Mark S. Golub on LChayim.

The Dorel Livianu Music Museum

The Belzer Rebbe by the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5774 אדמו”ר של בעלז בכותל בראש חודש סיוון

31.05.2014

Answering Kidnapping with Kindness – Salomon Says

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Our role in the rescue mission

Please pray for the safe and speedy return of Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim, and Eyal ben Iris Teshura.

For more articles and videos by Rabbi Salomon visit http://www.aish.com

Special Mass Prayer at Talmon

20.06.2014

The Jewish Mobsters

Etgar Keret

Talk Yiddish To Me (Nisht-Dirty Parody)

Doni zasloff thomas

 

Elie Wiesel Interview with Oprah

Ben Gurion University

Lithuanian Jewish Culture

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JEWISH WORLD : JewishNewsOne

Israel and Jewish Culture Michael Laitman

Popular Festival of Jewish Culture in Warsaw videos

 

Popular San Francisco Jewish Film Festival videos SFJFF Presents: The Tailor

12.02.2014
Culture and confusion meet on a Brooklyn street, in this hilariously charming tale of similarities amid diversity. Film directed by Gordon Grinberg

This short film is part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival short film showcase program, SFJFF Presents. To discover more great Jewish short films each month, join the SFJFF YouTube channel by clicking the red SUBSCRIBE button above.

For more details about SFJFF films and programs, visit http://www/sfjff.org.

24j-latest2

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peace

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peacePosted: 15 Jul 2014 07:04 AM PDT

10504985_10154414238775171_7317168910845165076_oI don’t usually fast on the 17th of Tamuz.

For that matter, I didn’t even take on the practice of fasting for Tisha b’Av until a few years ago. (See This year’s wrestle with Tisha b’Av, 2011.) I didn’t grow up observing the minor fasts, and I’ve never taken them on as a practice.

Instead I’ve tended toward finding other ways of understanding 17th Tammuz. Instead of focusing on the breach of Jerusalem’s walls 2,586 years ago, I ponder breaches in the emotional walls which keep us safe, or the internal and interpersonal walls which need to come down in order for genuine connections to form.

But this year there is so much trauma and tragedy in Israel and Palestine, so much grief and destruction and fear happening right now, that I am fasting today and I am dedicating my fast to peace, compassion and kindness in that beloved corner of our world where so many people are suffering.

This was not my idea. Across Israel and Palestine, groups of Jews and Muslims are consciously choosing to fast on this day in solidarity with one another as what was initially called a Hunger Strike Against Violence, and has become part of an initiative called בוחרים בחיים / اختيار الحياة / Choose Life. The idea came from Eliaz Cohen, an Israeli Jew who lives in Gush Etzion, and Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian Muslim who lives in Beit Ummar, north of Khalil (Hebron). Cohen is a poet and a self-identified second-generation “settler kid” who supports the idea of one homeland for two peoples. Abu Awwad is founder of Al Tariq (The Way), which teaches Palestinians principles of nonviolent resistance.

(For more, see the front-page story in yesterday’s Times of IsraelAided by calendar, Jews and Arabs Unite in Joint Fast: West Bank activists organize Choose Life, a shared initiative to combat political violence and promote coexistence.)

ChooselifeprayerThough the fast originated in the Middle East, it has spread around the globe. Joint Jewish-Muslim fasts (and dual-faith study sessions and communal joint iftar / break-the-fast meals) are taking place not only in Israel and Palestine but also around the United States, in various locations around Europe, even in Kuwait. (For more information, you can check out the Choose Life FB page; for English speakers, I recommend the parallel site Fast for Peace, which arose independently but is very much the same.)

What does abstaining from food and drink for a day actually accomplish? I know that it won’t change the external realities on the ground. But communal fasting is a very old Jewish way of connecting with others in grief and in hope. I hope that the fast will make an impact on we who are participating in it, and will inspire us to take action to bring peace and healing. And perhaps the fast will bring some hope to those who hear or read about it, and will inspire them to take action, too. Here’s something written by Rabbi Jill Jacobs at T’ruah:

As Jews, we know that fasting is one of our tradition’s main expressions of a public crisis. While most of us don’t believe that God will literally heed our fast and come to intervene, we nevertheless yearn for a way to express our sorrow and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Publicly embracing an interfaith  spiritual action is a small step, but it is better than privately wringing our hands and beating our breasts.

I know from my other experiences of religious fasting (on Yom Kippur, which I’ve done almost every year since I became bat mitzvah, and on Tisha b’Av in more recent years) that a religious fast entails a kind of spiritual journey. I was in one spiritual / emotional place when the fast began this morning; I expect that I will be in a different place by the time it is over. I won’t know where the journey is going to take me until I get there.

The original call to fast for peace arises out of the violence, fear, and heartbreak happening in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza right now. There’s a natural commonality in the fact that both Jewish and the Muslim communities will be fasting today from sunup to sundown. I am glad to join Jews and Muslims around the world in dedicating our fast to praying for an end to the violence in the Middle East.

I also find myself returning to prayers for kindness and compassion, both in those wartorn places and in the rest of this world. The violence isn’t happening on the ground where I live, but the hatred and mistrust which have ousted kindness and compassion from the hearts of those who commit that violence — that hatred and mistrust are everywhere.

Fastforpeace-01My online friend Lee Weissman, who blogs and tweets under the moniker Jihadi Jew, recently posted that he can no longer engage in conversations about Israel and Palestine via social media because the vitriol is so great that he has given up that public discourse. I understand the impulse. The rhetoric I’ve been seeing (from all “sides”) has been bringing me to the brink of panic attacksbecause I am so emotionally invested that my heart feels bruised by every instance of violence, every angry comment, every insistence that “they” deserve whatever they get. If we can’t collectively transcend that kind of thinking, I don’t see how the situation will ever improve.

17 Tamuz is the day when the Jewish community remembers the breach of Jerusalem’s city walls by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That breach was the first damage to the city’s integrity. Three weeks later, the Babylonian army destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews. This year what is broken on 17 Tamuz is my heart. I’ve always been a “sensitive soul,” moved by strong emotion (both my own feelings, and those expressed by those around me). And I was in Israel and the West Bank only a few months ago, which rekindled my feeling of connection with that land and with its peoples. Maybe these are the reasons why this year the renewed violence and bloodshed there are so emotionally and spiritually devastating to me.

In the traditional Jewish understanding, a public communal fast can be a tool of teshuvah / turning-toward-God, an expression of grief and mourning, and/or an opportunity for supplication and pleading with God. My fast against violence today aims to be all three of these. I seek to make teshuvah for the ways I’ve been complicit in allowing violence to continue. I grieve every single death in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most especially those of children. And I ask God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might to help us build a different world, a world of connection and compassion and peace. Please, God, please, God, please.

I’ll close this post with a prayer written by Sheikh Ibtisam Mahamid and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, distributed by the Choose Life folks along with prayers and scriptural quotations for study in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. They write:

God of Life
Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds

May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers
For you did not create us to kill each other
Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world
But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify
Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world.

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water
For our children crying at nights,
For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts
For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

And with my tears and prayers which I pray
And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days
I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us
Hear our voice that we shall not despair
That we shall see life in each other,
That we shall have mercy for each other,
That we shall have pity on each other,
That we shall hope for each other

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life
For your sake God of Life
Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,
And so shall be your will and let us say Amen.

Amen.


German-Jewish cultural heritage in China | DW.DE
DW presents a look at the development of German-Jewish culturalheritage in China.
dw.de

A prayer in remembrance – now in Hebrew

A prayer in remembrance – now in HebrewPosted: 14 Jul 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Not long ago I posted a prayer co-written with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in remembrance of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. (It’s here: A prayer in remembrance.)

Rabbi Lila Veissid, who serves Kibbutz Ha-Ma’apil in central Israel,  has translated that prayer into Hebrew. With her gracious permission, her translation is reprinted here.

 

תפילת זיכרון
מאת הרבה רחל ברנבלט
והרבה לין גוטליב

 

יהי רצון שזכרם של בנינו
שנהרגו בשל שנאה חסרת פשר
יהיה לברכה.

יהי רצון שרוחם תעלה
ותתנחם בחיבוקה החם
והאימהי של אלוהים.

יהי רצון שילדינו היקרים יהיו בטוחים מכל צרה.
יהי רצון שכל הילדים יהיו ילדינו.
יהי רצון שנגן על כל ההורים מן השכול.

יהי רצון שלבבנו ולבבם של בני עמנו
יירפא במהרה בימינו
מפצעי העבר וההווה.

יהי רצון שכל הורה אבֵל ימצא ניחומים.
יהי רצון שנזכה לראות את היום
שבו לא יהיו עוד הורים אבֵלים
(You can read the prayer in English at the original post: A prayer in remembrance, July 3 2014.)

Poetry and prayer are all I’ve gotPosted: 13 Jul 2014 04:44 AM PDT

I have been watching the news (and reading blog posts and tweets and Facebook updates) out of Israel and the Palestinian territories with a sense of unbearable heartbreak. It brings me to the brink of something like a panic attack: my chest tightening, my throat choked with tears, the embodied feeling that the grief will wash me away altogether. And I am aware that those who live there are experiencing something far more powerful.

The only thing which brings any comfort is poetry and prayer. Bethlehem Blogger posted A prayer in times of violence,which though it is explicitly Christian speaks to me nonetheless. Wendell Berry’s poem The peace of wild things speaks right to my heart. I daven the oseh shalom blessing — “may the One Who makes peace in the high heavens make peace also for us” — with particular fervor.

If there are prayers or poems which bring you comfort at times like these, please feel free to share them in the comments so that other readers (and I) can benefit from them.

I wrote a prayer in 2012 called Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim, which begins:

For every aspiring ballerina huddled
scared in a basement bomb shelter

For every toddler in his mother’s arms
    behind rubble of concrete and rebar

For every child who’s learned to distinguish
“our” bombs from “their” bombs by sound…

 

I hate that it is once again resonant. I yearn for the day when this prayer will look outdated and ridiculous — when the children of our children, running across this prayer in some shred of their grandparents’ generation, will say “I can’t believe that war went on for so long.” Please, God, may the day come speedily and soon.

 

Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section


צוק איתן – קליפ המוקדש באהבה לכל חיילי צה״ל

20.07.2014

Matot-kl

WEEKLY Parshat Hashavuah


Fast of Tammuz 17

 Shiurim 17th of Tammuz  language  hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

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Popular Erwin Schulhoff Videos

Schulhoff Mayerova 1931.jpgErwin Schulhoff (Czech: Ervín Šulhov; 8 June 1894 – 18 August 1942) was a Czech composer and pianist. He was one of the figures in the generation of European musicians whose successful careers were prematurely terminated by the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany and whose works have been rarely noted or performed.

Schulhoff was born in Prague into a family of Jewish German origin. The noted pianist and composer Julius Schulhoff was his great-uncle. Source Wikipedia

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Alfred Schnittke April 6 1989 Moscow.jpgAlfred Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́ткеAl’fred Garrievič Šnitke; November 24, 1934 – August 3, 1998) was a Sovietand Russian composer. Schnittke’s early music shows the strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic First Symphony (1969–1972) and First Concerto Grosso (1977). In the 1980s, Schnittke’s music began to become more widely known abroad with the publication of his Second (1980) and Third (1983) String Quartets and the String Trio (1985); the ballet Peer Gynt (1985–1987); the Third (1981), Fourth (1984), and Fifth (1988) Symphonies; and the Viola (1985) and 1st Cello (1985–1986) Concertos. As his health deteriorated, Schnittke’s music started to abandon much of the extroversion of his polystylism and retreated into a more withdrawn, bleak style.Schnittke’s father, Harry Viktorovich Schnittke (1914–1975, rus.), was Jewish and born in Frankfurt.[1] He moved to the USSR in 1927 and worked as a journalist and translatorfrom the Russian language into German. His mother, Maria Iosifovna Schnittke (née Vogel, 1910–1972), was a Volga German born in Russia. Schnittke’s paternal grandmother, Tea Abramovna Katz (1889–1970), was a philologist, translator, and editor of German-language literature. Source Wikipedia

Popular Viktor Ullmann Videos

Viktor Ullmann (1 January 1898, in Teschen – 18 October 1944, in KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau) was a Silesia-born Austrian[1] composer, conductor and pianist of Jewish origin.

Viktor Ullmann was born on January 1, 1898 in Těšín (Teschen), modern Český Těšín / Cieszyn. It belonged then to Silesia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now divided between Cieszyn in Poland and Český Těšín in Czechoslovakia. Both his parents were from families of Jewish descent, but had converted to Roman Catholicism[2] before Viktor’s birth. As an assimilated Jew, his father, Maximilian, was able to pursue a career as a professional officer in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In World War I he was promoted to colonel and ennobled. Source Wikipedia

SFJewishFilmFestival

Yiddish Theater Director Szymon Szurmiej

23.07.2013
Szymon Szurmiej.jpg17.07.2014
Szymon Symcha Szurmiej (18 June 1923 − 16 July 2014) was a Polish-Jewish actor, director, and general manager of the Ester Rachel Kamińska and Ida Kamińska State Jewish Theater in Warsaw. He was formerly director of the Yiddish Theater of Warsaw.[1]Since July 2004, he has been an honorary citizen of Warsaw.[2] Member of the World Jewish Congress. aged 91. Source  Wikipedia

Szymon Szurmiej – Małgorzatka (Festiwal Warszawa Singera 2008)

24j-latest-kl

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German-Jewish Culture in Turkey | Arts.21

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In the 1930s, Turkey as the refuge for many persecuted European Jews. Artists and intellectuals, in particular, found safety from the Nazis here. But many of them left again when Turkish nationalism and anti-Semitism reared their heads in Turkey again in the 1950s. Those who remained enrich the city’s cultural life to this day. For more go to http://www.dw.de/program/arts21/s-788…

Hershey Felder

Felder was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 9, 1968 to Jacob Felder (born in Ustrzyki, Poland, 1929) and Eva Surek Felder (born in Budapest, Hungary, 1946). A first-generation North-American, much of Felder’s upbringing included Eastern European traditions, in particular traditions associated with the Jewish faith into which he was born. Early schooling included Hebrew Academy Day School of Montreal as well as synagogue affiliations with Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec.(Hershey Felder (born July 9, 1968) is a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director. He created (as playwright, actor, and pianist) the role of American composer George Gershwin for the theatrical stage in the stage play George Gershwin Alone. Combining the craft of acting and concert-level piano performance, George Gershwin Alone was followed by the creation of the role of Fryderyk Chopin, the Polish composer/pianist, the roles of Ludwig van Beethoven and Gerhard von Breuning inBeethoven, As I Knew Him, the role of Leonard Bernstein in The Making of a Maestro: Bernstein, and Franz Liszt in Rock Star. These works comprise “The Composer Sonata.”Wikipedia)

Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions with Michael Choen

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A book (Biography) was published about Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions by Michael Cohen.
With Shabbat and holidays music, that we all want to listen to and read the book.
Which will bring back the old good memories?
This book will bring back childhood memories.

To order a copy of this book please visit:
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Natan Sharansky – This is Your Life – Limmud Conference 2013

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From being a refusenik in Russia to deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Natan has led an extraordinary life. He talks about his life to Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Daily Forward.

COJECO 10th Anniversary Celebration – Feliks Frenkel

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Alon Nechushtan Trio performs “Muppet Shock” at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. Celebrating the release of the “Words Beyond” CD on Buckyball Records.
Alon Nechustan – piano, Michael Bates – bass, Howard Owen – drums


Mark Rothko (Марк Ро́тко) Artworks and Analysis (Abstract Expressionist) – The Powerful Story of Art

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Mark Rothko (Latvian: Markus Rotkovičs, Russian: Марк Ро́тко; born Ма́ркус Я́ковлевич Ротко́вич; Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz; September 25, 1903 — February 25, 1970) was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He is generally identified as an Abstract Expressionist, although he himself rejected this label and even resisted classification as an “abstract painter.” With Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, he is one of the most famous postwar American artists.
“If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. This documentary is interested in expressing the big emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”

“Di farshtoysene” fun Y.-L. Perets (Khane Fishman-Gonshor)

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י.־ל. פּרץ און די ייִדישע פֿרױ
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חנה פֿישמאַן־גאָנשאָר

Lectures sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

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Leyenzal – A Yiddish Literacy Project

Magillah : Rozhinkes mit Mandlen [Raisins and Almonds] (Live 2012)

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April 5th, 2012 – A huge yiddish hit by A. Goldfaden, from the yiddish theatre (Michelle Heisler – voice, Henri Oppenheim – accordion, Julie Triquet – violin, Andy Dacoulis – guitar, Mathieu Deschenaux, double bass, Eric Breton – drums, Damian Nisenson – sax).

Music In the Holocaust – A Sonja Larson Presentation



Encounters with the Past: Remembering the `Bygone’ in Israeli Culture: Part 1-3

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The University of Washington’s 34th Annual Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies featured Professor Yael Zerubavel, director of The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. Zerubavel concludes the three-part series, Encounters with the Past: Remembering the “Bygone” in Israeli Culture, by looking at the new commemorations of Israel’s pioneering period, which have transformed into an “old past.” These changes illuminate profound transformations in contemporary Israel and Israelis’ understanding of their identities as well as their pasts.

A Guest at the Forverts – Motl Gordon

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The non-Jewish founder and director of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, Janusz Makuch sits to discuss his connection to the Jewish heritage and how he came to create one of the largest Jewish culture festivals in the world. With Mark S. Golub on LChayim.

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Our role in the rescue mission

Please pray for the safe and speedy return of Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim, and Eyal ben Iris Teshura.

For more articles and videos by Rabbi Salomon visit http://www.aish.com

Special Mass Prayer at Talmon

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Culture and confusion meet on a Brooklyn street, in this hilariously charming tale of similarities amid diversity. Film directed by Gordon Grinberg

This short film is part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival short film showcase program, SFJFF Presents. To discover more great Jewish short films each month, join the SFJFF YouTube channel by clicking the red SUBSCRIBE button above.

For more details about SFJFF films and programs, visit http://www/sfjff.org.

24j-latest2

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peace

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peacePosted: 15 Jul 2014 07:04 AM PDT

10504985_10154414238775171_7317168910845165076_oI don’t usually fast on the 17th of Tamuz.

For that matter, I didn’t even take on the practice of fasting for Tisha b’Av until a few years ago. (See This year’s wrestle with Tisha b’Av, 2011.) I didn’t grow up observing the minor fasts, and I’ve never taken them on as a practice.

Instead I’ve tended toward finding other ways of understanding 17th Tammuz. Instead of focusing on the breach of Jerusalem’s walls 2,586 years ago, I ponder breaches in the emotional walls which keep us safe, or the internal and interpersonal walls which need to come down in order for genuine connections to form.

But this year there is so much trauma and tragedy in Israel and Palestine, so much grief and destruction and fear happening right now, that I am fasting today and I am dedicating my fast to peace, compassion and kindness in that beloved corner of our world where so many people are suffering.

This was not my idea. Across Israel and Palestine, groups of Jews and Muslims are consciously choosing to fast on this day in solidarity with one another as what was initially called a Hunger Strike Against Violence, and has become part of an initiative called בוחרים בחיים / اختيار الحياة / Choose Life. The idea came from Eliaz Cohen, an Israeli Jew who lives in Gush Etzion, and Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian Muslim who lives in Beit Ummar, north of Khalil (Hebron). Cohen is a poet and a self-identified second-generation “settler kid” who supports the idea of one homeland for two peoples. Abu Awwad is founder of Al Tariq (The Way), which teaches Palestinians principles of nonviolent resistance.

(For more, see the front-page story in yesterday’s Times of IsraelAided by calendar, Jews and Arabs Unite in Joint Fast: West Bank activists organize Choose Life, a shared initiative to combat political violence and promote coexistence.)

ChooselifeprayerThough the fast originated in the Middle East, it has spread around the globe. Joint Jewish-Muslim fasts (and dual-faith study sessions and communal joint iftar / break-the-fast meals) are taking place not only in Israel and Palestine but also around the United States, in various locations around Europe, even in Kuwait. (For more information, you can check out the Choose Life FB page; for English speakers, I recommend the parallel site Fast for Peace, which arose independently but is very much the same.)

What does abstaining from food and drink for a day actually accomplish? I know that it won’t change the external realities on the ground. But communal fasting is a very old Jewish way of connecting with others in grief and in hope. I hope that the fast will make an impact on we who are participating in it, and will inspire us to take action to bring peace and healing. And perhaps the fast will bring some hope to those who hear or read about it, and will inspire them to take action, too. Here’s something written by Rabbi Jill Jacobs at T’ruah:

As Jews, we know that fasting is one of our tradition’s main expressions of a public crisis. While most of us don’t believe that God will literally heed our fast and come to intervene, we nevertheless yearn for a way to express our sorrow and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Publicly embracing an interfaith  spiritual action is a small step, but it is better than privately wringing our hands and beating our breasts.

I know from my other experiences of religious fasting (on Yom Kippur, which I’ve done almost every year since I became bat mitzvah, and on Tisha b’Av in more recent years) that a religious fast entails a kind of spiritual journey. I was in one spiritual / emotional place when the fast began this morning; I expect that I will be in a different place by the time it is over. I won’t know where the journey is going to take me until I get there.

The original call to fast for peace arises out of the violence, fear, and heartbreak happening in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza right now. There’s a natural commonality in the fact that both Jewish and the Muslim communities will be fasting today from sunup to sundown. I am glad to join Jews and Muslims around the world in dedicating our fast to praying for an end to the violence in the Middle East.

I also find myself returning to prayers for kindness and compassion, both in those wartorn places and in the rest of this world. The violence isn’t happening on the ground where I live, but the hatred and mistrust which have ousted kindness and compassion from the hearts of those who commit that violence — that hatred and mistrust are everywhere.

Fastforpeace-01My online friend Lee Weissman, who blogs and tweets under the moniker Jihadi Jew, recently posted that he can no longer engage in conversations about Israel and Palestine via social media because the vitriol is so great that he has given up that public discourse. I understand the impulse. The rhetoric I’ve been seeing (from all “sides”) has been bringing me to the brink of panic attacksbecause I am so emotionally invested that my heart feels bruised by every instance of violence, every angry comment, every insistence that “they” deserve whatever they get. If we can’t collectively transcend that kind of thinking, I don’t see how the situation will ever improve.

17 Tamuz is the day when the Jewish community remembers the breach of Jerusalem’s city walls by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That breach was the first damage to the city’s integrity. Three weeks later, the Babylonian army destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews. This year what is broken on 17 Tamuz is my heart. I’ve always been a “sensitive soul,” moved by strong emotion (both my own feelings, and those expressed by those around me). And I was in Israel and the West Bank only a few months ago, which rekindled my feeling of connection with that land and with its peoples. Maybe these are the reasons why this year the renewed violence and bloodshed there are so emotionally and spiritually devastating to me.

In the traditional Jewish understanding, a public communal fast can be a tool of teshuvah / turning-toward-God, an expression of grief and mourning, and/or an opportunity for supplication and pleading with God. My fast against violence today aims to be all three of these. I seek to make teshuvah for the ways I’ve been complicit in allowing violence to continue. I grieve every single death in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most especially those of children. And I ask God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might to help us build a different world, a world of connection and compassion and peace. Please, God, please, God, please.

I’ll close this post with a prayer written by Sheikh Ibtisam Mahamid and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, distributed by the Choose Life folks along with prayers and scriptural quotations for study in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. They write:

God of Life
Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds

May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers
For you did not create us to kill each other
Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world
But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify
Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world.

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water
For our children crying at nights,
For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts
For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

And with my tears and prayers which I pray
And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days
I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us
Hear our voice that we shall not despair
That we shall see life in each other,
That we shall have mercy for each other,
That we shall have pity on each other,
That we shall hope for each other

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life
For your sake God of Life
Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,
And so shall be your will and let us say Amen.

Amen.


German-Jewish cultural heritage in China | DW.DE
DW presents a look at the development of German-Jewish culturalheritage in China.
dw.de

A prayer in remembrance – now in Hebrew

A prayer in remembrance – now in HebrewPosted: 14 Jul 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Not long ago I posted a prayer co-written with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in remembrance of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. (It’s here: A prayer in remembrance.)

Rabbi Lila Veissid, who serves Kibbutz Ha-Ma’apil in central Israel,  has translated that prayer into Hebrew. With her gracious permission, her translation is reprinted here.

 

תפילת זיכרון
מאת הרבה רחל ברנבלט
והרבה לין גוטליב

 

יהי רצון שזכרם של בנינו
שנהרגו בשל שנאה חסרת פשר
יהיה לברכה.

יהי רצון שרוחם תעלה
ותתנחם בחיבוקה החם
והאימהי של אלוהים.

יהי רצון שילדינו היקרים יהיו בטוחים מכל צרה.
יהי רצון שכל הילדים יהיו ילדינו.
יהי רצון שנגן על כל ההורים מן השכול.

יהי רצון שלבבנו ולבבם של בני עמנו
יירפא במהרה בימינו
מפצעי העבר וההווה.

יהי רצון שכל הורה אבֵל ימצא ניחומים.
יהי רצון שנזכה לראות את היום
שבו לא יהיו עוד הורים אבֵלים
(You can read the prayer in English at the original post: A prayer in remembrance, July 3 2014.)

Poetry and prayer are all I’ve gotPosted: 13 Jul 2014 04:44 AM PDT

I have been watching the news (and reading blog posts and tweets and Facebook updates) out of Israel and the Palestinian territories with a sense of unbearable heartbreak. It brings me to the brink of something like a panic attack: my chest tightening, my throat choked with tears, the embodied feeling that the grief will wash me away altogether. And I am aware that those who live there are experiencing something far more powerful.

The only thing which brings any comfort is poetry and prayer. Bethlehem Blogger posted A prayer in times of violence,which though it is explicitly Christian speaks to me nonetheless. Wendell Berry’s poem The peace of wild things speaks right to my heart. I daven the oseh shalom blessing — “may the One Who makes peace in the high heavens make peace also for us” — with particular fervor.

If there are prayers or poems which bring you comfort at times like these, please feel free to share them in the comments so that other readers (and I) can benefit from them.

I wrote a prayer in 2012 called Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim, which begins:

For every aspiring ballerina huddled
scared in a basement bomb shelter

For every toddler in his mother’s arms
    behind rubble of concrete and rebar

For every child who’s learned to distinguish
“our” bombs from “their” bombs by sound…

 

I hate that it is once again resonant. I yearn for the day when this prayer will look outdated and ridiculous — when the children of our children, running across this prayer in some shred of their grandparents’ generation, will say “I can’t believe that war went on for so long.” Please, God, may the day come speedily and soon.

 

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20.07.2014

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WEEKLY Parshat Hashavuah


Fast of Tammuz 17

 Shiurim 17th of Tammuz  language  hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

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Schulhoff Mayerova 1931.jpgErwin Schulhoff (Czech: Ervín Šulhov; 8 June 1894 – 18 August 1942) was a Czech composer and pianist. He was one of the figures in the generation of European musicians whose successful careers were prematurely terminated by the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany and whose works have been rarely noted or performed.

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Alfred Schnittke April 6 1989 Moscow.jpgAlfred Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́ткеAl’fred Garrievič Šnitke; November 24, 1934 – August 3, 1998) was a Sovietand Russian composer. Schnittke’s early music shows the strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic First Symphony (1969–1972) and First Concerto Grosso (1977). In the 1980s, Schnittke’s music began to become more widely known abroad with the publication of his Second (1980) and Third (1983) String Quartets and the String Trio (1985); the ballet Peer Gynt (1985–1987); the Third (1981), Fourth (1984), and Fifth (1988) Symphonies; and the Viola (1985) and 1st Cello (1985–1986) Concertos. As his health deteriorated, Schnittke’s music started to abandon much of the extroversion of his polystylism and retreated into a more withdrawn, bleak style.Schnittke’s father, Harry Viktorovich Schnittke (1914–1975, rus.), was Jewish and born in Frankfurt.[1] He moved to the USSR in 1927 and worked as a journalist and translatorfrom the Russian language into German. His mother, Maria Iosifovna Schnittke (née Vogel, 1910–1972), was a Volga German born in Russia. Schnittke’s paternal grandmother, Tea Abramovna Katz (1889–1970), was a philologist, translator, and editor of German-language literature. Source Wikipedia

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Viktor Ullmann was born on January 1, 1898 in Těšín (Teschen), modern Český Těšín / Cieszyn. It belonged then to Silesia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now divided between Cieszyn in Poland and Český Těšín in Czechoslovakia. Both his parents were from families of Jewish descent, but had converted to Roman Catholicism[2] before Viktor’s birth. As an assimilated Jew, his father, Maximilian, was able to pursue a career as a professional officer in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In World War I he was promoted to colonel and ennobled. Source Wikipedia

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Szymon Symcha Szurmiej (18 June 1923 − 16 July 2014) was a Polish-Jewish actor, director, and general manager of the Ester Rachel Kamińska and Ida Kamińska State Jewish Theater in Warsaw. He was formerly director of the Yiddish Theater of Warsaw.[1]Since July 2004, he has been an honorary citizen of Warsaw.[2] Member of the World Jewish Congress. aged 91. Source  Wikipedia

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Felder was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 9, 1968 to Jacob Felder (born in Ustrzyki, Poland, 1929) and Eva Surek Felder (born in Budapest, Hungary, 1946). A first-generation North-American, much of Felder’s upbringing included Eastern European traditions, in particular traditions associated with the Jewish faith into which he was born. Early schooling included Hebrew Academy Day School of Montreal as well as synagogue affiliations with Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec.(Hershey Felder (born July 9, 1968) is a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director. He created (as playwright, actor, and pianist) the role of American composer George Gershwin for the theatrical stage in the stage play George Gershwin Alone. Combining the craft of acting and concert-level piano performance, George Gershwin Alone was followed by the creation of the role of Fryderyk Chopin, the Polish composer/pianist, the roles of Ludwig van Beethoven and Gerhard von Breuning inBeethoven, As I Knew Him, the role of Leonard Bernstein in The Making of a Maestro: Bernstein, and Franz Liszt in Rock Star. These works comprise “The Composer Sonata.”Wikipedia)

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Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peace

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peacePosted: 15 Jul 2014 07:04 AM PDT

10504985_10154414238775171_7317168910845165076_oI don’t usually fast on the 17th of Tamuz.

For that matter, I didn’t even take on the practice of fasting for Tisha b’Av until a few years ago. (See This year’s wrestle with Tisha b’Av, 2011.) I didn’t grow up observing the minor fasts, and I’ve never taken them on as a practice.

Instead I’ve tended toward finding other ways of understanding 17th Tammuz. Instead of focusing on the breach of Jerusalem’s walls 2,586 years ago, I ponder breaches in the emotional walls which keep us safe, or the internal and interpersonal walls which need to come down in order for genuine connections to form.

But this year there is so much trauma and tragedy in Israel and Palestine, so much grief and destruction and fear happening right now, that I am fasting today and I am dedicating my fast to peace, compassion and kindness in that beloved corner of our world where so many people are suffering.

This was not my idea. Across Israel and Palestine, groups of Jews and Muslims are consciously choosing to fast on this day in solidarity with one another as what was initially called a Hunger Strike Against Violence, and has become part of an initiative called בוחרים בחיים / اختيار الحياة / Choose Life. The idea came from Eliaz Cohen, an Israeli Jew who lives in Gush Etzion, and Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian Muslim who lives in Beit Ummar, north of Khalil (Hebron). Cohen is a poet and a self-identified second-generation “settler kid” who supports the idea of one homeland for two peoples. Abu Awwad is founder of Al Tariq (The Way), which teaches Palestinians principles of nonviolent resistance.

(For more, see the front-page story in yesterday’s Times of IsraelAided by calendar, Jews and Arabs Unite in Joint Fast: West Bank activists organize Choose Life, a shared initiative to combat political violence and promote coexistence.)

ChooselifeprayerThough the fast originated in the Middle East, it has spread around the globe. Joint Jewish-Muslim fasts (and dual-faith study sessions and communal joint iftar / break-the-fast meals) are taking place not only in Israel and Palestine but also around the United States, in various locations around Europe, even in Kuwait. (For more information, you can check out the Choose Life FB page; for English speakers, I recommend the parallel site Fast for Peace, which arose independently but is very much the same.)

What does abstaining from food and drink for a day actually accomplish? I know that it won’t change the external realities on the ground. But communal fasting is a very old Jewish way of connecting with others in grief and in hope. I hope that the fast will make an impact on we who are participating in it, and will inspire us to take action to bring peace and healing. And perhaps the fast will bring some hope to those who hear or read about it, and will inspire them to take action, too. Here’s something written by Rabbi Jill Jacobs at T’ruah:

As Jews, we know that fasting is one of our tradition’s main expressions of a public crisis. While most of us don’t believe that God will literally heed our fast and come to intervene, we nevertheless yearn for a way to express our sorrow and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Publicly embracing an interfaith  spiritual action is a small step, but it is better than privately wringing our hands and beating our breasts.

I know from my other experiences of religious fasting (on Yom Kippur, which I’ve done almost every year since I became bat mitzvah, and on Tisha b’Av in more recent years) that a religious fast entails a kind of spiritual journey. I was in one spiritual / emotional place when the fast began this morning; I expect that I will be in a different place by the time it is over. I won’t know where the journey is going to take me until I get there.

The original call to fast for peace arises out of the violence, fear, and heartbreak happening in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza right now. There’s a natural commonality in the fact that both Jewish and the Muslim communities will be fasting today from sunup to sundown. I am glad to join Jews and Muslims around the world in dedicating our fast to praying for an end to the violence in the Middle East.

I also find myself returning to prayers for kindness and compassion, both in those wartorn places and in the rest of this world. The violence isn’t happening on the ground where I live, but the hatred and mistrust which have ousted kindness and compassion from the hearts of those who commit that violence — that hatred and mistrust are everywhere.

Fastforpeace-01My online friend Lee Weissman, who blogs and tweets under the moniker Jihadi Jew, recently posted that he can no longer engage in conversations about Israel and Palestine via social media because the vitriol is so great that he has given up that public discourse. I understand the impulse. The rhetoric I’ve been seeing (from all “sides”) has been bringing me to the brink of panic attacksbecause I am so emotionally invested that my heart feels bruised by every instance of violence, every angry comment, every insistence that “they” deserve whatever they get. If we can’t collectively transcend that kind of thinking, I don’t see how the situation will ever improve.

17 Tamuz is the day when the Jewish community remembers the breach of Jerusalem’s city walls by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That breach was the first damage to the city’s integrity. Three weeks later, the Babylonian army destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews. This year what is broken on 17 Tamuz is my heart. I’ve always been a “sensitive soul,” moved by strong emotion (both my own feelings, and those expressed by those around me). And I was in Israel and the West Bank only a few months ago, which rekindled my feeling of connection with that land and with its peoples. Maybe these are the reasons why this year the renewed violence and bloodshed there are so emotionally and spiritually devastating to me.

In the traditional Jewish understanding, a public communal fast can be a tool of teshuvah / turning-toward-God, an expression of grief and mourning, and/or an opportunity for supplication and pleading with God. My fast against violence today aims to be all three of these. I seek to make teshuvah for the ways I’ve been complicit in allowing violence to continue. I grieve every single death in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most especially those of children. And I ask God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might to help us build a different world, a world of connection and compassion and peace. Please, God, please, God, please.

I’ll close this post with a prayer written by Sheikh Ibtisam Mahamid and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, distributed by the Choose Life folks along with prayers and scriptural quotations for study in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. They write:

God of Life
Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds

May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers
For you did not create us to kill each other
Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world
But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify
Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world.

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water
For our children crying at nights,
For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts
For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

And with my tears and prayers which I pray
And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days
I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us
Hear our voice that we shall not despair
That we shall see life in each other,
That we shall have mercy for each other,
That we shall have pity on each other,
That we shall hope for each other

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life
For your sake God of Life
Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,
And so shall be your will and let us say Amen.

Amen.


German-Jewish cultural heritage in China | DW.DE
DW presents a look at the development of German-Jewish culturalheritage in China.
dw.de

A prayer in remembrance – now in Hebrew

A prayer in remembrance – now in HebrewPosted: 14 Jul 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Not long ago I posted a prayer co-written with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in remembrance of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. (It’s here: A prayer in remembrance.)

Rabbi Lila Veissid, who serves Kibbutz Ha-Ma’apil in central Israel,  has translated that prayer into Hebrew. With her gracious permission, her translation is reprinted here.

 

תפילת זיכרון
מאת הרבה רחל ברנבלט
והרבה לין גוטליב

 

יהי רצון שזכרם של בנינו
שנהרגו בשל שנאה חסרת פשר
יהיה לברכה.

יהי רצון שרוחם תעלה
ותתנחם בחיבוקה החם
והאימהי של אלוהים.

יהי רצון שילדינו היקרים יהיו בטוחים מכל צרה.
יהי רצון שכל הילדים יהיו ילדינו.
יהי רצון שנגן על כל ההורים מן השכול.

יהי רצון שלבבנו ולבבם של בני עמנו
יירפא במהרה בימינו
מפצעי העבר וההווה.

יהי רצון שכל הורה אבֵל ימצא ניחומים.
יהי רצון שנזכה לראות את היום
שבו לא יהיו עוד הורים אבֵלים
(You can read the prayer in English at the original post: A prayer in remembrance, July 3 2014.)

Poetry and prayer are all I’ve gotPosted: 13 Jul 2014 04:44 AM PDT

I have been watching the news (and reading blog posts and tweets and Facebook updates) out of Israel and the Palestinian territories with a sense of unbearable heartbreak. It brings me to the brink of something like a panic attack: my chest tightening, my throat choked with tears, the embodied feeling that the grief will wash me away altogether. And I am aware that those who live there are experiencing something far more powerful.

The only thing which brings any comfort is poetry and prayer. Bethlehem Blogger posted A prayer in times of violence,which though it is explicitly Christian speaks to me nonetheless. Wendell Berry’s poem The peace of wild things speaks right to my heart. I daven the oseh shalom blessing — “may the One Who makes peace in the high heavens make peace also for us” — with particular fervor.

If there are prayers or poems which bring you comfort at times like these, please feel free to share them in the comments so that other readers (and I) can benefit from them.

I wrote a prayer in 2012 called Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim, which begins:

For every aspiring ballerina huddled
scared in a basement bomb shelter

For every toddler in his mother’s arms
    behind rubble of concrete and rebar

For every child who’s learned to distinguish
“our” bombs from “their” bombs by sound…

 

I hate that it is once again resonant. I yearn for the day when this prayer will look outdated and ridiculous — when the children of our children, running across this prayer in some shred of their grandparents’ generation, will say “I can’t believe that war went on for so long.” Please, God, may the day come speedily and soon.

 

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Schulhoff Mayerova 1931.jpgErwin Schulhoff (Czech: Ervín Šulhov; 8 June 1894 – 18 August 1942) was a Czech composer and pianist. He was one of the figures in the generation of European musicians whose successful careers were prematurely terminated by the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany and whose works have been rarely noted or performed.

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Alfred Schnittke April 6 1989 Moscow.jpgAlfred Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́ткеAl’fred Garrievič Šnitke; November 24, 1934 – August 3, 1998) was a Sovietand Russian composer. Schnittke’s early music shows the strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic First Symphony (1969–1972) and First Concerto Grosso (1977). In the 1980s, Schnittke’s music began to become more widely known abroad with the publication of his Second (1980) and Third (1983) String Quartets and the String Trio (1985); the ballet Peer Gynt (1985–1987); the Third (1981), Fourth (1984), and Fifth (1988) Symphonies; and the Viola (1985) and 1st Cello (1985–1986) Concertos. As his health deteriorated, Schnittke’s music started to abandon much of the extroversion of his polystylism and retreated into a more withdrawn, bleak style.Schnittke’s father, Harry Viktorovich Schnittke (1914–1975, rus.), was Jewish and born in Frankfurt.[1] He moved to the USSR in 1927 and worked as a journalist and translatorfrom the Russian language into German. His mother, Maria Iosifovna Schnittke (née Vogel, 1910–1972), was a Volga German born in Russia. Schnittke’s paternal grandmother, Tea Abramovna Katz (1889–1970), was a philologist, translator, and editor of German-language literature. Source Wikipedia

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Viktor Ullmann (1 January 1898, in Teschen – 18 October 1944, in KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau) was a Silesia-born Austrian[1] composer, conductor and pianist of Jewish origin.

Viktor Ullmann was born on January 1, 1898 in Těšín (Teschen), modern Český Těšín / Cieszyn. It belonged then to Silesia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now divided between Cieszyn in Poland and Český Těšín in Czechoslovakia. Both his parents were from families of Jewish descent, but had converted to Roman Catholicism[2] before Viktor’s birth. As an assimilated Jew, his father, Maximilian, was able to pursue a career as a professional officer in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In World War I he was promoted to colonel and ennobled. Source Wikipedia

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Szymon Symcha Szurmiej (18 June 1923 − 16 July 2014) was a Polish-Jewish actor, director, and general manager of the Ester Rachel Kamińska and Ida Kamińska State Jewish Theater in Warsaw. He was formerly director of the Yiddish Theater of Warsaw.[1]Since July 2004, he has been an honorary citizen of Warsaw.[2] Member of the World Jewish Congress. aged 91. Source  Wikipedia

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Felder was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 9, 1968 to Jacob Felder (born in Ustrzyki, Poland, 1929) and Eva Surek Felder (born in Budapest, Hungary, 1946). A first-generation North-American, much of Felder’s upbringing included Eastern European traditions, in particular traditions associated with the Jewish faith into which he was born. Early schooling included Hebrew Academy Day School of Montreal as well as synagogue affiliations with Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec.(Hershey Felder (born July 9, 1968) is a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director. He created (as playwright, actor, and pianist) the role of American composer George Gershwin for the theatrical stage in the stage play George Gershwin Alone. Combining the craft of acting and concert-level piano performance, George Gershwin Alone was followed by the creation of the role of Fryderyk Chopin, the Polish composer/pianist, the roles of Ludwig van Beethoven and Gerhard von Breuning inBeethoven, As I Knew Him, the role of Leonard Bernstein in The Making of a Maestro: Bernstein, and Franz Liszt in Rock Star. These works comprise “The Composer Sonata.”Wikipedia)

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Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peace

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peacePosted: 15 Jul 2014 07:04 AM PDT

10504985_10154414238775171_7317168910845165076_oI don’t usually fast on the 17th of Tamuz.

For that matter, I didn’t even take on the practice of fasting for Tisha b’Av until a few years ago. (See This year’s wrestle with Tisha b’Av, 2011.) I didn’t grow up observing the minor fasts, and I’ve never taken them on as a practice.

Instead I’ve tended toward finding other ways of understanding 17th Tammuz. Instead of focusing on the breach of Jerusalem’s walls 2,586 years ago, I ponder breaches in the emotional walls which keep us safe, or the internal and interpersonal walls which need to come down in order for genuine connections to form.

But this year there is so much trauma and tragedy in Israel and Palestine, so much grief and destruction and fear happening right now, that I am fasting today and I am dedicating my fast to peace, compassion and kindness in that beloved corner of our world where so many people are suffering.

This was not my idea. Across Israel and Palestine, groups of Jews and Muslims are consciously choosing to fast on this day in solidarity with one another as what was initially called a Hunger Strike Against Violence, and has become part of an initiative called בוחרים בחיים / اختيار الحياة / Choose Life. The idea came from Eliaz Cohen, an Israeli Jew who lives in Gush Etzion, and Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian Muslim who lives in Beit Ummar, north of Khalil (Hebron). Cohen is a poet and a self-identified second-generation “settler kid” who supports the idea of one homeland for two peoples. Abu Awwad is founder of Al Tariq (The Way), which teaches Palestinians principles of nonviolent resistance.

(For more, see the front-page story in yesterday’s Times of IsraelAided by calendar, Jews and Arabs Unite in Joint Fast: West Bank activists organize Choose Life, a shared initiative to combat political violence and promote coexistence.)

ChooselifeprayerThough the fast originated in the Middle East, it has spread around the globe. Joint Jewish-Muslim fasts (and dual-faith study sessions and communal joint iftar / break-the-fast meals) are taking place not only in Israel and Palestine but also around the United States, in various locations around Europe, even in Kuwait. (For more information, you can check out the Choose Life FB page; for English speakers, I recommend the parallel site Fast for Peace, which arose independently but is very much the same.)

What does abstaining from food and drink for a day actually accomplish? I know that it won’t change the external realities on the ground. But communal fasting is a very old Jewish way of connecting with others in grief and in hope. I hope that the fast will make an impact on we who are participating in it, and will inspire us to take action to bring peace and healing. And perhaps the fast will bring some hope to those who hear or read about it, and will inspire them to take action, too. Here’s something written by Rabbi Jill Jacobs at T’ruah:

As Jews, we know that fasting is one of our tradition’s main expressions of a public crisis. While most of us don’t believe that God will literally heed our fast and come to intervene, we nevertheless yearn for a way to express our sorrow and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Publicly embracing an interfaith  spiritual action is a small step, but it is better than privately wringing our hands and beating our breasts.

I know from my other experiences of religious fasting (on Yom Kippur, which I’ve done almost every year since I became bat mitzvah, and on Tisha b’Av in more recent years) that a religious fast entails a kind of spiritual journey. I was in one spiritual / emotional place when the fast began this morning; I expect that I will be in a different place by the time it is over. I won’t know where the journey is going to take me until I get there.

The original call to fast for peace arises out of the violence, fear, and heartbreak happening in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza right now. There’s a natural commonality in the fact that both Jewish and the Muslim communities will be fasting today from sunup to sundown. I am glad to join Jews and Muslims around the world in dedicating our fast to praying for an end to the violence in the Middle East.

I also find myself returning to prayers for kindness and compassion, both in those wartorn places and in the rest of this world. The violence isn’t happening on the ground where I live, but the hatred and mistrust which have ousted kindness and compassion from the hearts of those who commit that violence — that hatred and mistrust are everywhere.

Fastforpeace-01My online friend Lee Weissman, who blogs and tweets under the moniker Jihadi Jew, recently posted that he can no longer engage in conversations about Israel and Palestine via social media because the vitriol is so great that he has given up that public discourse. I understand the impulse. The rhetoric I’ve been seeing (from all “sides”) has been bringing me to the brink of panic attacksbecause I am so emotionally invested that my heart feels bruised by every instance of violence, every angry comment, every insistence that “they” deserve whatever they get. If we can’t collectively transcend that kind of thinking, I don’t see how the situation will ever improve.

17 Tamuz is the day when the Jewish community remembers the breach of Jerusalem’s city walls by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That breach was the first damage to the city’s integrity. Three weeks later, the Babylonian army destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews. This year what is broken on 17 Tamuz is my heart. I’ve always been a “sensitive soul,” moved by strong emotion (both my own feelings, and those expressed by those around me). And I was in Israel and the West Bank only a few months ago, which rekindled my feeling of connection with that land and with its peoples. Maybe these are the reasons why this year the renewed violence and bloodshed there are so emotionally and spiritually devastating to me.

In the traditional Jewish understanding, a public communal fast can be a tool of teshuvah / turning-toward-God, an expression of grief and mourning, and/or an opportunity for supplication and pleading with God. My fast against violence today aims to be all three of these. I seek to make teshuvah for the ways I’ve been complicit in allowing violence to continue. I grieve every single death in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most especially those of children. And I ask God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might to help us build a different world, a world of connection and compassion and peace. Please, God, please, God, please.

I’ll close this post with a prayer written by Sheikh Ibtisam Mahamid and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, distributed by the Choose Life folks along with prayers and scriptural quotations for study in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. They write:

God of Life
Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds

May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers
For you did not create us to kill each other
Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world
But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify
Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world.

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water
For our children crying at nights,
For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts
For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

And with my tears and prayers which I pray
And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days
I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us
Hear our voice that we shall not despair
That we shall see life in each other,
That we shall have mercy for each other,
That we shall have pity on each other,
That we shall hope for each other

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life
For your sake God of Life
Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,
And so shall be your will and let us say Amen.

Amen.


German-Jewish cultural heritage in China | DW.DE
DW presents a look at the development of German-Jewish culturalheritage in China.
dw.de

A prayer in remembrance – now in Hebrew

A prayer in remembrance – now in HebrewPosted: 14 Jul 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Not long ago I posted a prayer co-written with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in remembrance of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. (It’s here: A prayer in remembrance.)

Rabbi Lila Veissid, who serves Kibbutz Ha-Ma’apil in central Israel,  has translated that prayer into Hebrew. With her gracious permission, her translation is reprinted here.

 

תפילת זיכרון
מאת הרבה רחל ברנבלט
והרבה לין גוטליב

 

יהי רצון שזכרם של בנינו
שנהרגו בשל שנאה חסרת פשר
יהיה לברכה.

יהי רצון שרוחם תעלה
ותתנחם בחיבוקה החם
והאימהי של אלוהים.

יהי רצון שילדינו היקרים יהיו בטוחים מכל צרה.
יהי רצון שכל הילדים יהיו ילדינו.
יהי רצון שנגן על כל ההורים מן השכול.

יהי רצון שלבבנו ולבבם של בני עמנו
יירפא במהרה בימינו
מפצעי העבר וההווה.

יהי רצון שכל הורה אבֵל ימצא ניחומים.
יהי רצון שנזכה לראות את היום
שבו לא יהיו עוד הורים אבֵלים
(You can read the prayer in English at the original post: A prayer in remembrance, July 3 2014.)

Poetry and prayer are all I’ve gotPosted: 13 Jul 2014 04:44 AM PDT

I have been watching the news (and reading blog posts and tweets and Facebook updates) out of Israel and the Palestinian territories with a sense of unbearable heartbreak. It brings me to the brink of something like a panic attack: my chest tightening, my throat choked with tears, the embodied feeling that the grief will wash me away altogether. And I am aware that those who live there are experiencing something far more powerful.

The only thing which brings any comfort is poetry and prayer. Bethlehem Blogger posted A prayer in times of violence,which though it is explicitly Christian speaks to me nonetheless. Wendell Berry’s poem The peace of wild things speaks right to my heart. I daven the oseh shalom blessing — “may the One Who makes peace in the high heavens make peace also for us” — with particular fervor.

If there are prayers or poems which bring you comfort at times like these, please feel free to share them in the comments so that other readers (and I) can benefit from them.

I wrote a prayer in 2012 called Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim, which begins:

For every aspiring ballerina huddled
scared in a basement bomb shelter

For every toddler in his mother’s arms
    behind rubble of concrete and rebar

For every child who’s learned to distinguish
“our” bombs from “their” bombs by sound…

 

I hate that it is once again resonant. I yearn for the day when this prayer will look outdated and ridiculous — when the children of our children, running across this prayer in some shred of their grandparents’ generation, will say “I can’t believe that war went on for so long.” Please, God, may the day come speedily and soon.

 

Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

Matot-kl

WEEKLY Parshat Hashavuah


Fast of Tammuz 17

 Shiurim 17th of Tammuz  language  hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

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Yiddish Theater Director Szymon Szurmiej

23.07.2013
Szymon Szurmiej.jpg17.07.2014
Szymon Symcha Szurmiej (18 June 1923 − 16 July 2014) was a Polish-Jewish actor, director, and general manager of the Ester Rachel Kamińska and Ida Kamińska State Jewish Theater in Warsaw. He was formerly director of the Yiddish Theater of Warsaw.[1]Since July 2004, he has been an honorary citizen of Warsaw.[2] Member of the World Jewish Congress. aged 91. Source  Wikipedia

Szymon Szurmiej – Małgorzatka (Festiwal Warszawa Singera 2008)

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In the 1930s, Turkey as the refuge for many persecuted European Jews. Artists and intellectuals, in particular, found safety from the Nazis here. But many of them left again when Turkish nationalism and anti-Semitism reared their heads in Turkey again in the 1950s. Those who remained enrich the city’s cultural life to this day. For more go to http://www.dw.de/program/arts21/s-788…

Hershey Felder

Felder was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 9, 1968 to Jacob Felder (born in Ustrzyki, Poland, 1929) and Eva Surek Felder (born in Budapest, Hungary, 1946). A first-generation North-American, much of Felder’s upbringing included Eastern European traditions, in particular traditions associated with the Jewish faith into which he was born. Early schooling included Hebrew Academy Day School of Montreal as well as synagogue affiliations with Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec.(Hershey Felder (born July 9, 1968) is a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director. He created (as playwright, actor, and pianist) the role of American composer George Gershwin for the theatrical stage in the stage play George Gershwin Alone. Combining the craft of acting and concert-level piano performance, George Gershwin Alone was followed by the creation of the role of Fryderyk Chopin, the Polish composer/pianist, the roles of Ludwig van Beethoven and Gerhard von Breuning inBeethoven, As I Knew Him, the role of Leonard Bernstein in The Making of a Maestro: Bernstein, and Franz Liszt in Rock Star. These works comprise “The Composer Sonata.”Wikipedia)

Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions with Michael Choen

27.06.2013
A book (Biography) was published about Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions by Michael Cohen.
With Shabbat and holidays music, that we all want to listen to and read the book.
Which will bring back the old good memories?
This book will bring back childhood memories.

To order a copy of this book please visit:
http://michaelcohenbook.com/

Natan Sharansky – This is Your Life – Limmud Conference 2013

30.12.2013
From being a refusenik in Russia to deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Natan has led an extraordinary life. He talks about his life to Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Daily Forward.

COJECO 10th Anniversary Celebration – Feliks Frenkel

Alon Nechushtan Videos

Alon Nechushtan Trio performs “Muppet Shock” at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. Celebrating the release of the “Words Beyond” CD on Buckyball Records.
Alon Nechustan – piano, Michael Bates – bass, Howard Owen – drums


Mark Rothko (Марк Ро́тко) Artworks and Analysis (Abstract Expressionist) – The Powerful Story of Art

06.07.2014
Mark Rothko (Latvian: Markus Rotkovičs, Russian: Марк Ро́тко; born Ма́ркус Я́ковлевич Ротко́вич; Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz; September 25, 1903 — February 25, 1970) was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He is generally identified as an Abstract Expressionist, although he himself rejected this label and even resisted classification as an “abstract painter.” With Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, he is one of the most famous postwar American artists.
“If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. This documentary is interested in expressing the big emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”

“Di farshtoysene” fun Y.-L. Perets (Khane Fishman-Gonshor)

30.06.2014
י.־ל. פּרץ און די ייִדישע פֿרױ
דריטער טײל, חלק ב’׃ „די פֿאַרשטױסענע”
חנה פֿישמאַן־גאָנשאָר

Lectures sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

דער לײענזאַל
Leyenzal – A Yiddish Literacy Project

Magillah : Rozhinkes mit Mandlen [Raisins and Almonds] (Live 2012)

02.08.2012
April 5th, 2012 – A huge yiddish hit by A. Goldfaden, from the yiddish theatre (Michelle Heisler – voice, Henri Oppenheim – accordion, Julie Triquet – violin, Andy Dacoulis – guitar, Mathieu Deschenaux, double bass, Eric Breton – drums, Damian Nisenson – sax).

Music In the Holocaust – A Sonja Larson Presentation



Encounters with the Past: Remembering the `Bygone’ in Israeli Culture: Part 1-3

02.07.2014
The University of Washington’s 34th Annual Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies featured Professor Yael Zerubavel, director of The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. Zerubavel concludes the three-part series, Encounters with the Past: Remembering the “Bygone” in Israeli Culture, by looking at the new commemorations of Israel’s pioneering period, which have transformed into an “old past.” These changes illuminate profound transformations in contemporary Israel and Israelis’ understanding of their identities as well as their pasts.

A Guest at the Forverts – Motl Gordon

Motl Gordon visits “FORVERTS”
A program hosted by Boris Sandler

The Pin at Anne Frank Center

06.11.2013

L’Chayim – Janusz Makcuh – Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow

16.06.2014
The non-Jewish founder and director of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, Janusz Makuch sits to discuss his connection to the Jewish heritage and how he came to create one of the largest Jewish culture festivals in the world. With Mark S. Golub on LChayim.

The Dorel Livianu Music Museum

The Belzer Rebbe by the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5774 אדמו”ר של בעלז בכותל בראש חודש סיוון

31.05.2014

Answering Kidnapping with Kindness – Salomon Says

22.06.2014
Our role in the rescue mission

Please pray for the safe and speedy return of Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim, and Eyal ben Iris Teshura.

For more articles and videos by Rabbi Salomon visit http://www.aish.com

Special Mass Prayer at Talmon

20.06.2014

The Jewish Mobsters

Etgar Keret

Talk Yiddish To Me (Nisht-Dirty Parody)

Doni zasloff thomas

 

Elie Wiesel Interview with Oprah

Ben Gurion University

Lithuanian Jewish Culture

Temani Yemanie Hebrews

JEWISH WORLD : JewishNewsOne

Israel and Jewish Culture Michael Laitman

Popular Festival of Jewish Culture in Warsaw videos

 

Popular San Francisco Jewish Film Festival videos SFJFF Presents: The Tailor

12.02.2014
Culture and confusion meet on a Brooklyn street, in this hilariously charming tale of similarities amid diversity. Film directed by Gordon Grinberg

This short film is part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival short film showcase program, SFJFF Presents. To discover more great Jewish short films each month, join the SFJFF YouTube channel by clicking the red SUBSCRIBE button above.

For more details about SFJFF films and programs, visit http://www/sfjff.org.

24j-latest2

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peace

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peacePosted: 15 Jul 2014 07:04 AM PDT

10504985_10154414238775171_7317168910845165076_oI don’t usually fast on the 17th of Tamuz.

For that matter, I didn’t even take on the practice of fasting for Tisha b’Av until a few years ago. (See This year’s wrestle with Tisha b’Av, 2011.) I didn’t grow up observing the minor fasts, and I’ve never taken them on as a practice.

Instead I’ve tended toward finding other ways of understanding 17th Tammuz. Instead of focusing on the breach of Jerusalem’s walls 2,586 years ago, I ponder breaches in the emotional walls which keep us safe, or the internal and interpersonal walls which need to come down in order for genuine connections to form.

But this year there is so much trauma and tragedy in Israel and Palestine, so much grief and destruction and fear happening right now, that I am fasting today and I am dedicating my fast to peace, compassion and kindness in that beloved corner of our world where so many people are suffering.

This was not my idea. Across Israel and Palestine, groups of Jews and Muslims are consciously choosing to fast on this day in solidarity with one another as what was initially called a Hunger Strike Against Violence, and has become part of an initiative called בוחרים בחיים / اختيار الحياة / Choose Life. The idea came from Eliaz Cohen, an Israeli Jew who lives in Gush Etzion, and Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian Muslim who lives in Beit Ummar, north of Khalil (Hebron). Cohen is a poet and a self-identified second-generation “settler kid” who supports the idea of one homeland for two peoples. Abu Awwad is founder of Al Tariq (The Way), which teaches Palestinians principles of nonviolent resistance.

(For more, see the front-page story in yesterday’s Times of IsraelAided by calendar, Jews and Arabs Unite in Joint Fast: West Bank activists organize Choose Life, a shared initiative to combat political violence and promote coexistence.)

ChooselifeprayerThough the fast originated in the Middle East, it has spread around the globe. Joint Jewish-Muslim fasts (and dual-faith study sessions and communal joint iftar / break-the-fast meals) are taking place not only in Israel and Palestine but also around the United States, in various locations around Europe, even in Kuwait. (For more information, you can check out the Choose Life FB page; for English speakers, I recommend the parallel site Fast for Peace, which arose independently but is very much the same.)

What does abstaining from food and drink for a day actually accomplish? I know that it won’t change the external realities on the ground. But communal fasting is a very old Jewish way of connecting with others in grief and in hope. I hope that the fast will make an impact on we who are participating in it, and will inspire us to take action to bring peace and healing. And perhaps the fast will bring some hope to those who hear or read about it, and will inspire them to take action, too. Here’s something written by Rabbi Jill Jacobs at T’ruah:

As Jews, we know that fasting is one of our tradition’s main expressions of a public crisis. While most of us don’t believe that God will literally heed our fast and come to intervene, we nevertheless yearn for a way to express our sorrow and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Publicly embracing an interfaith  spiritual action is a small step, but it is better than privately wringing our hands and beating our breasts.

I know from my other experiences of religious fasting (on Yom Kippur, which I’ve done almost every year since I became bat mitzvah, and on Tisha b’Av in more recent years) that a religious fast entails a kind of spiritual journey. I was in one spiritual / emotional place when the fast began this morning; I expect that I will be in a different place by the time it is over. I won’t know where the journey is going to take me until I get there.

The original call to fast for peace arises out of the violence, fear, and heartbreak happening in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza right now. There’s a natural commonality in the fact that both Jewish and the Muslim communities will be fasting today from sunup to sundown. I am glad to join Jews and Muslims around the world in dedicating our fast to praying for an end to the violence in the Middle East.

I also find myself returning to prayers for kindness and compassion, both in those wartorn places and in the rest of this world. The violence isn’t happening on the ground where I live, but the hatred and mistrust which have ousted kindness and compassion from the hearts of those who commit that violence — that hatred and mistrust are everywhere.

Fastforpeace-01My online friend Lee Weissman, who blogs and tweets under the moniker Jihadi Jew, recently posted that he can no longer engage in conversations about Israel and Palestine via social media because the vitriol is so great that he has given up that public discourse. I understand the impulse. The rhetoric I’ve been seeing (from all “sides”) has been bringing me to the brink of panic attacksbecause I am so emotionally invested that my heart feels bruised by every instance of violence, every angry comment, every insistence that “they” deserve whatever they get. If we can’t collectively transcend that kind of thinking, I don’t see how the situation will ever improve.

17 Tamuz is the day when the Jewish community remembers the breach of Jerusalem’s city walls by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That breach was the first damage to the city’s integrity. Three weeks later, the Babylonian army destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews. This year what is broken on 17 Tamuz is my heart. I’ve always been a “sensitive soul,” moved by strong emotion (both my own feelings, and those expressed by those around me). And I was in Israel and the West Bank only a few months ago, which rekindled my feeling of connection with that land and with its peoples. Maybe these are the reasons why this year the renewed violence and bloodshed there are so emotionally and spiritually devastating to me.

In the traditional Jewish understanding, a public communal fast can be a tool of teshuvah / turning-toward-God, an expression of grief and mourning, and/or an opportunity for supplication and pleading with God. My fast against violence today aims to be all three of these. I seek to make teshuvah for the ways I’ve been complicit in allowing violence to continue. I grieve every single death in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most especially those of children. And I ask God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might to help us build a different world, a world of connection and compassion and peace. Please, God, please, God, please.

I’ll close this post with a prayer written by Sheikh Ibtisam Mahamid and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, distributed by the Choose Life folks along with prayers and scriptural quotations for study in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. They write:

God of Life
Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds

May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers
For you did not create us to kill each other
Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world
But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify
Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world.

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water
For our children crying at nights,
For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts
For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

And with my tears and prayers which I pray
And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days
I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us
Hear our voice that we shall not despair
That we shall see life in each other,
That we shall have mercy for each other,
That we shall have pity on each other,
That we shall hope for each other

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life
For your sake God of Life
Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,
And so shall be your will and let us say Amen.

Amen.


German-Jewish cultural heritage in China | DW.DE
DW presents a look at the development of German-Jewish culturalheritage in China.
dw.de

A prayer in remembrance – now in Hebrew

A prayer in remembrance – now in HebrewPosted: 14 Jul 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Not long ago I posted a prayer co-written with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in remembrance of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. (It’s here: A prayer in remembrance.)

Rabbi Lila Veissid, who serves Kibbutz Ha-Ma’apil in central Israel,  has translated that prayer into Hebrew. With her gracious permission, her translation is reprinted here.

 

תפילת זיכרון
מאת הרבה רחל ברנבלט
והרבה לין גוטליב

 

יהי רצון שזכרם של בנינו
שנהרגו בשל שנאה חסרת פשר
יהיה לברכה.

יהי רצון שרוחם תעלה
ותתנחם בחיבוקה החם
והאימהי של אלוהים.

יהי רצון שילדינו היקרים יהיו בטוחים מכל צרה.
יהי רצון שכל הילדים יהיו ילדינו.
יהי רצון שנגן על כל ההורים מן השכול.

יהי רצון שלבבנו ולבבם של בני עמנו
יירפא במהרה בימינו
מפצעי העבר וההווה.

יהי רצון שכל הורה אבֵל ימצא ניחומים.
יהי רצון שנזכה לראות את היום
שבו לא יהיו עוד הורים אבֵלים
(You can read the prayer in English at the original post: A prayer in remembrance, July 3 2014.)

Poetry and prayer are all I’ve gotPosted: 13 Jul 2014 04:44 AM PDT

I have been watching the news (and reading blog posts and tweets and Facebook updates) out of Israel and the Palestinian territories with a sense of unbearable heartbreak. It brings me to the brink of something like a panic attack: my chest tightening, my throat choked with tears, the embodied feeling that the grief will wash me away altogether. And I am aware that those who live there are experiencing something far more powerful.

The only thing which brings any comfort is poetry and prayer. Bethlehem Blogger posted A prayer in times of violence,which though it is explicitly Christian speaks to me nonetheless. Wendell Berry’s poem The peace of wild things speaks right to my heart. I daven the oseh shalom blessing — “may the One Who makes peace in the high heavens make peace also for us” — with particular fervor.

If there are prayers or poems which bring you comfort at times like these, please feel free to share them in the comments so that other readers (and I) can benefit from them.

I wrote a prayer in 2012 called Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim, which begins:

For every aspiring ballerina huddled
scared in a basement bomb shelter

For every toddler in his mother’s arms
    behind rubble of concrete and rebar

For every child who’s learned to distinguish
“our” bombs from “their” bombs by sound…

 

I hate that it is once again resonant. I yearn for the day when this prayer will look outdated and ridiculous — when the children of our children, running across this prayer in some shred of their grandparents’ generation, will say “I can’t believe that war went on for so long.” Please, God, may the day come speedily and soon.

 

Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

Matot-kl

WEEKLY Parshat Hashavuah


Fast of Tammuz 17

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Yiddish Theater Director Szymon Szurmiej

23.07.2013
Szymon Szurmiej.jpg17.07.2014
Szymon Symcha Szurmiej (18 June 1923 − 16 July 2014) was a Polish-Jewish actor, director, and general manager of the Ester Rachel Kamińska and Ida Kamińska State Jewish Theater in Warsaw. He was formerly director of the Yiddish Theater of Warsaw.[1]Since July 2004, he has been an honorary citizen of Warsaw.[2] Member of the World Jewish Congress. aged 91. Source  Wikipedia

Szymon Szurmiej – Małgorzatka (Festiwal Warszawa Singera 2008)

24j-latest-kl

12.03.11

Popular Yiddish theatre & Yiddish Language videos

German-Jewish Culture in Turkey | Arts.21

17.03.2013
In the 1930s, Turkey as the refuge for many persecuted European Jews. Artists and intellectuals, in particular, found safety from the Nazis here. But many of them left again when Turkish nationalism and anti-Semitism reared their heads in Turkey again in the 1950s. Those who remained enrich the city’s cultural life to this day. For more go to http://www.dw.de/program/arts21/s-788…

Hershey Felder

Felder was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 9, 1968 to Jacob Felder (born in Ustrzyki, Poland, 1929) and Eva Surek Felder (born in Budapest, Hungary, 1946). A first-generation North-American, much of Felder’s upbringing included Eastern European traditions, in particular traditions associated with the Jewish faith into which he was born. Early schooling included Hebrew Academy Day School of Montreal as well as synagogue affiliations with Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec.(Hershey Felder (born July 9, 1968) is a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director. He created (as playwright, actor, and pianist) the role of American composer George Gershwin for the theatrical stage in the stage play George Gershwin Alone. Combining the craft of acting and concert-level piano performance, George Gershwin Alone was followed by the creation of the role of Fryderyk Chopin, the Polish composer/pianist, the roles of Ludwig van Beethoven and Gerhard von Breuning inBeethoven, As I Knew Him, the role of Leonard Bernstein in The Making of a Maestro: Bernstein, and Franz Liszt in Rock Star. These works comprise “The Composer Sonata.”Wikipedia)

Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions with Michael Choen

27.06.2013
A book (Biography) was published about Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions by Michael Cohen.
With Shabbat and holidays music, that we all want to listen to and read the book.
Which will bring back the old good memories?
This book will bring back childhood memories.

To order a copy of this book please visit:
http://michaelcohenbook.com/

Natan Sharansky – This is Your Life – Limmud Conference 2013

30.12.2013
From being a refusenik in Russia to deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Natan has led an extraordinary life. He talks about his life to Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Daily Forward.

COJECO 10th Anniversary Celebration – Feliks Frenkel

Alon Nechushtan Videos

Alon Nechushtan Trio performs “Muppet Shock” at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. Celebrating the release of the “Words Beyond” CD on Buckyball Records.
Alon Nechustan – piano, Michael Bates – bass, Howard Owen – drums


Mark Rothko (Марк Ро́тко) Artworks and Analysis (Abstract Expressionist) – The Powerful Story of Art

06.07.2014
Mark Rothko (Latvian: Markus Rotkovičs, Russian: Марк Ро́тко; born Ма́ркус Я́ковлевич Ротко́вич; Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz; September 25, 1903 — February 25, 1970) was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He is generally identified as an Abstract Expressionist, although he himself rejected this label and even resisted classification as an “abstract painter.” With Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, he is one of the most famous postwar American artists.
“If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. This documentary is interested in expressing the big emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”

“Di farshtoysene” fun Y.-L. Perets (Khane Fishman-Gonshor)

30.06.2014
י.־ל. פּרץ און די ייִדישע פֿרױ
דריטער טײל, חלק ב’׃ „די פֿאַרשטױסענע”
חנה פֿישמאַן־גאָנשאָר

Lectures sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

דער לײענזאַל
Leyenzal – A Yiddish Literacy Project

Magillah : Rozhinkes mit Mandlen [Raisins and Almonds] (Live 2012)

02.08.2012
April 5th, 2012 – A huge yiddish hit by A. Goldfaden, from the yiddish theatre (Michelle Heisler – voice, Henri Oppenheim – accordion, Julie Triquet – violin, Andy Dacoulis – guitar, Mathieu Deschenaux, double bass, Eric Breton – drums, Damian Nisenson – sax).

Music In the Holocaust – A Sonja Larson Presentation



Encounters with the Past: Remembering the `Bygone’ in Israeli Culture: Part 1-3

02.07.2014
The University of Washington’s 34th Annual Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies featured Professor Yael Zerubavel, director of The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. Zerubavel concludes the three-part series, Encounters with the Past: Remembering the “Bygone” in Israeli Culture, by looking at the new commemorations of Israel’s pioneering period, which have transformed into an “old past.” These changes illuminate profound transformations in contemporary Israel and Israelis’ understanding of their identities as well as their pasts.

A Guest at the Forverts – Motl Gordon

Motl Gordon visits “FORVERTS”
A program hosted by Boris Sandler

The Pin at Anne Frank Center

06.11.2013

L’Chayim – Janusz Makcuh – Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow

16.06.2014
The non-Jewish founder and director of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, Janusz Makuch sits to discuss his connection to the Jewish heritage and how he came to create one of the largest Jewish culture festivals in the world. With Mark S. Golub on LChayim.

The Dorel Livianu Music Museum

The Belzer Rebbe by the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5774 אדמו”ר של בעלז בכותל בראש חודש סיוון

31.05.2014

Answering Kidnapping with Kindness – Salomon Says

22.06.2014
Our role in the rescue mission

Please pray for the safe and speedy return of Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim, and Eyal ben Iris Teshura.

For more articles and videos by Rabbi Salomon visit http://www.aish.com

Special Mass Prayer at Talmon

20.06.2014

The Jewish Mobsters

Etgar Keret

Talk Yiddish To Me (Nisht-Dirty Parody)

Doni zasloff thomas

 

Elie Wiesel Interview with Oprah

Ben Gurion University

Lithuanian Jewish Culture

Temani Yemanie Hebrews

JEWISH WORLD : JewishNewsOne

Israel and Jewish Culture Michael Laitman

Popular Festival of Jewish Culture in Warsaw videos

 

Popular San Francisco Jewish Film Festival videos SFJFF Presents: The Tailor

12.02.2014
Culture and confusion meet on a Brooklyn street, in this hilariously charming tale of similarities amid diversity. Film directed by Gordon Grinberg

This short film is part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival short film showcase program, SFJFF Presents. To discover more great Jewish short films each month, join the SFJFF YouTube channel by clicking the red SUBSCRIBE button above.

For more details about SFJFF films and programs, visit http://www/sfjff.org.

24j-latest2

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peace

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peacePosted: 15 Jul 2014 07:04 AM PDT

10504985_10154414238775171_7317168910845165076_oI don’t usually fast on the 17th of Tamuz.

For that matter, I didn’t even take on the practice of fasting for Tisha b’Av until a few years ago. (See This year’s wrestle with Tisha b’Av, 2011.) I didn’t grow up observing the minor fasts, and I’ve never taken them on as a practice.

Instead I’ve tended toward finding other ways of understanding 17th Tammuz. Instead of focusing on the breach of Jerusalem’s walls 2,586 years ago, I ponder breaches in the emotional walls which keep us safe, or the internal and interpersonal walls which need to come down in order for genuine connections to form.

But this year there is so much trauma and tragedy in Israel and Palestine, so much grief and destruction and fear happening right now, that I am fasting today and I am dedicating my fast to peace, compassion and kindness in that beloved corner of our world where so many people are suffering.

This was not my idea. Across Israel and Palestine, groups of Jews and Muslims are consciously choosing to fast on this day in solidarity with one another as what was initially called a Hunger Strike Against Violence, and has become part of an initiative called בוחרים בחיים / اختيار الحياة / Choose Life. The idea came from Eliaz Cohen, an Israeli Jew who lives in Gush Etzion, and Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian Muslim who lives in Beit Ummar, north of Khalil (Hebron). Cohen is a poet and a self-identified second-generation “settler kid” who supports the idea of one homeland for two peoples. Abu Awwad is founder of Al Tariq (The Way), which teaches Palestinians principles of nonviolent resistance.

(For more, see the front-page story in yesterday’s Times of IsraelAided by calendar, Jews and Arabs Unite in Joint Fast: West Bank activists organize Choose Life, a shared initiative to combat political violence and promote coexistence.)

ChooselifeprayerThough the fast originated in the Middle East, it has spread around the globe. Joint Jewish-Muslim fasts (and dual-faith study sessions and communal joint iftar / break-the-fast meals) are taking place not only in Israel and Palestine but also around the United States, in various locations around Europe, even in Kuwait. (For more information, you can check out the Choose Life FB page; for English speakers, I recommend the parallel site Fast for Peace, which arose independently but is very much the same.)

What does abstaining from food and drink for a day actually accomplish? I know that it won’t change the external realities on the ground. But communal fasting is a very old Jewish way of connecting with others in grief and in hope. I hope that the fast will make an impact on we who are participating in it, and will inspire us to take action to bring peace and healing. And perhaps the fast will bring some hope to those who hear or read about it, and will inspire them to take action, too. Here’s something written by Rabbi Jill Jacobs at T’ruah:

As Jews, we know that fasting is one of our tradition’s main expressions of a public crisis. While most of us don’t believe that God will literally heed our fast and come to intervene, we nevertheless yearn for a way to express our sorrow and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Publicly embracing an interfaith  spiritual action is a small step, but it is better than privately wringing our hands and beating our breasts.

I know from my other experiences of religious fasting (on Yom Kippur, which I’ve done almost every year since I became bat mitzvah, and on Tisha b’Av in more recent years) that a religious fast entails a kind of spiritual journey. I was in one spiritual / emotional place when the fast began this morning; I expect that I will be in a different place by the time it is over. I won’t know where the journey is going to take me until I get there.

The original call to fast for peace arises out of the violence, fear, and heartbreak happening in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza right now. There’s a natural commonality in the fact that both Jewish and the Muslim communities will be fasting today from sunup to sundown. I am glad to join Jews and Muslims around the world in dedicating our fast to praying for an end to the violence in the Middle East.

I also find myself returning to prayers for kindness and compassion, both in those wartorn places and in the rest of this world. The violence isn’t happening on the ground where I live, but the hatred and mistrust which have ousted kindness and compassion from the hearts of those who commit that violence — that hatred and mistrust are everywhere.

Fastforpeace-01My online friend Lee Weissman, who blogs and tweets under the moniker Jihadi Jew, recently posted that he can no longer engage in conversations about Israel and Palestine via social media because the vitriol is so great that he has given up that public discourse. I understand the impulse. The rhetoric I’ve been seeing (from all “sides”) has been bringing me to the brink of panic attacksbecause I am so emotionally invested that my heart feels bruised by every instance of violence, every angry comment, every insistence that “they” deserve whatever they get. If we can’t collectively transcend that kind of thinking, I don’t see how the situation will ever improve.

17 Tamuz is the day when the Jewish community remembers the breach of Jerusalem’s city walls by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That breach was the first damage to the city’s integrity. Three weeks later, the Babylonian army destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews. This year what is broken on 17 Tamuz is my heart. I’ve always been a “sensitive soul,” moved by strong emotion (both my own feelings, and those expressed by those around me). And I was in Israel and the West Bank only a few months ago, which rekindled my feeling of connection with that land and with its peoples. Maybe these are the reasons why this year the renewed violence and bloodshed there are so emotionally and spiritually devastating to me.

In the traditional Jewish understanding, a public communal fast can be a tool of teshuvah / turning-toward-God, an expression of grief and mourning, and/or an opportunity for supplication and pleading with God. My fast against violence today aims to be all three of these. I seek to make teshuvah for the ways I’ve been complicit in allowing violence to continue. I grieve every single death in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most especially those of children. And I ask God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might to help us build a different world, a world of connection and compassion and peace. Please, God, please, God, please.

I’ll close this post with a prayer written by Sheikh Ibtisam Mahamid and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, distributed by the Choose Life folks along with prayers and scriptural quotations for study in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. They write:

God of Life
Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds

May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers
For you did not create us to kill each other
Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world
But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify
Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world.

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water
For our children crying at nights,
For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts
For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

And with my tears and prayers which I pray
And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days
I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us
Hear our voice that we shall not despair
That we shall see life in each other,
That we shall have mercy for each other,
That we shall have pity on each other,
That we shall hope for each other

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life
For your sake God of Life
Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,
And so shall be your will and let us say Amen.

Amen.


German-Jewish cultural heritage in China | DW.DE
DW presents a look at the development of German-Jewish culturalheritage in China.
dw.de

A prayer in remembrance – now in Hebrew

A prayer in remembrance – now in HebrewPosted: 14 Jul 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Not long ago I posted a prayer co-written with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in remembrance of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. (It’s here: A prayer in remembrance.)

Rabbi Lila Veissid, who serves Kibbutz Ha-Ma’apil in central Israel,  has translated that prayer into Hebrew. With her gracious permission, her translation is reprinted here.

 

תפילת זיכרון
מאת הרבה רחל ברנבלט
והרבה לין גוטליב

 

יהי רצון שזכרם של בנינו
שנהרגו בשל שנאה חסרת פשר
יהיה לברכה.

יהי רצון שרוחם תעלה
ותתנחם בחיבוקה החם
והאימהי של אלוהים.

יהי רצון שילדינו היקרים יהיו בטוחים מכל צרה.
יהי רצון שכל הילדים יהיו ילדינו.
יהי רצון שנגן על כל ההורים מן השכול.

יהי רצון שלבבנו ולבבם של בני עמנו
יירפא במהרה בימינו
מפצעי העבר וההווה.

יהי רצון שכל הורה אבֵל ימצא ניחומים.
יהי רצון שנזכה לראות את היום
שבו לא יהיו עוד הורים אבֵלים
(You can read the prayer in English at the original post: A prayer in remembrance, July 3 2014.)

Poetry and prayer are all I’ve gotPosted: 13 Jul 2014 04:44 AM PDT

I have been watching the news (and reading blog posts and tweets and Facebook updates) out of Israel and the Palestinian territories with a sense of unbearable heartbreak. It brings me to the brink of something like a panic attack: my chest tightening, my throat choked with tears, the embodied feeling that the grief will wash me away altogether. And I am aware that those who live there are experiencing something far more powerful.

The only thing which brings any comfort is poetry and prayer. Bethlehem Blogger posted A prayer in times of violence,which though it is explicitly Christian speaks to me nonetheless. Wendell Berry’s poem The peace of wild things speaks right to my heart. I daven the oseh shalom blessing — “may the One Who makes peace in the high heavens make peace also for us” — with particular fervor.

If there are prayers or poems which bring you comfort at times like these, please feel free to share them in the comments so that other readers (and I) can benefit from them.

I wrote a prayer in 2012 called Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim, which begins:

For every aspiring ballerina huddled
scared in a basement bomb shelter

For every toddler in his mother’s arms
    behind rubble of concrete and rebar

For every child who’s learned to distinguish
“our” bombs from “their” bombs by sound…

 

I hate that it is once again resonant. I yearn for the day when this prayer will look outdated and ridiculous — when the children of our children, running across this prayer in some shred of their grandparents’ generation, will say “I can’t believe that war went on for so long.” Please, God, may the day come speedily and soon.

 

Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

Matot-kl

WEEKLY Parshat Hashavuah


Fast of Tammuz 17

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German-Jewish Culture in Turkey | Arts.21

17.03.2013
In the 1930s, Turkey as the refuge for many persecuted European Jews. Artists and intellectuals, in particular, found safety from the Nazis here. But many of them left again when Turkish nationalism and anti-Semitism reared their heads in Turkey again in the 1950s. Those who remained enrich the city’s cultural life to this day. For more go to http://www.dw.de/program/arts21/s-788…

24j-latest2

Hershey Felder

Felder was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 9, 1968 to Jacob Felder (born in Ustrzyki, Poland, 1929) and Eva Surek Felder (born in Budapest, Hungary, 1946). A first-generation North-American, much of Felder’s upbringing included Eastern European traditions, in particular traditions associated with the Jewish faith into which he was born. Early schooling included Hebrew Academy Day School of Montreal as well as synagogue affiliations with Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec.(Hershey Felder (born July 9, 1968) is a Canadian pianist, actor, playwright, composer, producer, and director. He created (as playwright, actor, and pianist) the role of American composer George Gershwin for the theatrical stage in the stage play George Gershwin Alone. Combining the craft of acting and concert-level piano performance, George Gershwin Alone was followed by the creation of the role of Fryderyk Chopin, the Polish composer/pianist, the roles of Ludwig van Beethoven and Gerhard von Breuning inBeethoven, As I Knew Him, the role of Leonard Bernstein in The Making of a Maestro: Bernstein, and Franz Liszt in Rock Star. These works comprise “The Composer Sonata.”Wikipedia)

Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions with Michael Choen

27.06.2013
A book (Biography) was published about Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions by Michael Cohen.
With Shabbat and holidays music, that we all want to listen to and read the book.
Which will bring back the old good memories?
This book will bring back childhood memories.

To order a copy of this book please visit:
http://michaelcohenbook.com/

Natan Sharansky – This is Your Life – Limmud Conference 2013

30.12.2013
From being a refusenik in Russia to deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Natan has led an extraordinary life. He talks about his life to Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Daily Forward.

COJECO 10th Anniversary Celebration – Feliks Frenkel

Alon Nechushtan Videos

Alon Nechushtan Trio performs “Muppet Shock” at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. Celebrating the release of the “Words Beyond” CD on Buckyball Records.
Alon Nechustan – piano, Michael Bates – bass, Howard Owen – drums


Mark Rothko (Марк Ро́тко) Artworks and Analysis (Abstract Expressionist) – The Powerful Story of Art

06.07.2014
Mark Rothko (Latvian: Markus Rotkovičs, Russian: Марк Ро́тко; born Ма́ркус Я́ковлевич Ротко́вич; Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz; September 25, 1903 — February 25, 1970) was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He is generally identified as an Abstract Expressionist, although he himself rejected this label and even resisted classification as an “abstract painter.” With Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, he is one of the most famous postwar American artists.
“If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. This documentary is interested in expressing the big emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”

“Di farshtoysene” fun Y.-L. Perets (Khane Fishman-Gonshor)

30.06.2014
י.־ל. פּרץ און די ייִדישע פֿרױ
דריטער טײל, חלק ב’׃ „די פֿאַרשטױסענע”
חנה פֿישמאַן־גאָנשאָר

Lectures sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

דער לײענזאַל
Leyenzal – A Yiddish Literacy Project

Magillah : Rozhinkes mit Mandlen [Raisins and Almonds] (Live 2012)

02.08.2012
April 5th, 2012 – A huge yiddish hit by A. Goldfaden, from the yiddish theatre (Michelle Heisler – voice, Henri Oppenheim – accordion, Julie Triquet – violin, Andy Dacoulis – guitar, Mathieu Deschenaux, double bass, Eric Breton – drums, Damian Nisenson – sax).

Music In the Holocaust – A Sonja Larson Presentation



Encounters with the Past: Remembering the `Bygone’ in Israeli Culture: Part 1-3

02.07.2014
The University of Washington’s 34th Annual Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies featured Professor Yael Zerubavel, director of The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. Zerubavel concludes the three-part series, Encounters with the Past: Remembering the “Bygone” in Israeli Culture, by looking at the new commemorations of Israel’s pioneering period, which have transformed into an “old past.” These changes illuminate profound transformations in contemporary Israel and Israelis’ understanding of their identities as well as their pasts.

A Guest at the Forverts – Motl Gordon

Motl Gordon visits “FORVERTS”
A program hosted by Boris Sandler

The Pin at Anne Frank Center

06.11.2013

L’Chayim – Janusz Makcuh – Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow

16.06.2014
The non-Jewish founder and director of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, Janusz Makuch sits to discuss his connection to the Jewish heritage and how he came to create one of the largest Jewish culture festivals in the world. With Mark S. Golub on LChayim.

The Dorel Livianu Music Museum

The Belzer Rebbe by the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5774 אדמו”ר של בעלז בכותל בראש חודש סיוון

31.05.2014

Answering Kidnapping with Kindness – Salomon Says

22.06.2014
Our role in the rescue mission

Please pray for the safe and speedy return of Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim, and Eyal ben Iris Teshura.

For more articles and videos by Rabbi Salomon visit http://www.aish.com

Special Mass Prayer at Talmon

20.06.2014

The Jewish Mobsters

Etgar Keret

Talk Yiddish To Me (Nisht-Dirty Parody)

Doni zasloff thomas

 

Elie Wiesel Interview with Oprah

Ben Gurion University

Lithuanian Jewish Culture

Temani Yemanie Hebrews

JEWISH WORLD : JewishNewsOne

Israel and Jewish Culture Michael Laitman

Popular Festival of Jewish Culture in Warsaw videos

 

Popular San Francisco Jewish Film Festival videos SFJFF Presents: The Tailor

12.02.2014
Culture and confusion meet on a Brooklyn street, in this hilariously charming tale of similarities amid diversity. Film directed by Gordon Grinberg

This short film is part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival short film showcase program, SFJFF Presents. To discover more great Jewish short films each month, join the SFJFF YouTube channel by clicking the red SUBSCRIBE button above.

For more details about SFJFF films and programs, visit http://www/sfjff.org.

24j-latest2

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peace

Fasting today with Jews and Muslims for peacePosted: 15 Jul 2014 07:04 AM PDT

10504985_10154414238775171_7317168910845165076_oI don’t usually fast on the 17th of Tamuz.

For that matter, I didn’t even take on the practice of fasting for Tisha b’Av until a few years ago. (See This year’s wrestle with Tisha b’Av, 2011.) I didn’t grow up observing the minor fasts, and I’ve never taken them on as a practice.

Instead I’ve tended toward finding other ways of understanding 17th Tammuz. Instead of focusing on the breach of Jerusalem’s walls 2,586 years ago, I ponder breaches in the emotional walls which keep us safe, or the internal and interpersonal walls which need to come down in order for genuine connections to form.

But this year there is so much trauma and tragedy in Israel and Palestine, so much grief and destruction and fear happening right now, that I am fasting today and I am dedicating my fast to peace, compassion and kindness in that beloved corner of our world where so many people are suffering.

This was not my idea. Across Israel and Palestine, groups of Jews and Muslims are consciously choosing to fast on this day in solidarity with one another as what was initially called a Hunger Strike Against Violence, and has become part of an initiative called בוחרים בחיים / اختيار الحياة / Choose Life. The idea came from Eliaz Cohen, an Israeli Jew who lives in Gush Etzion, and Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian Muslim who lives in Beit Ummar, north of Khalil (Hebron). Cohen is a poet and a self-identified second-generation “settler kid” who supports the idea of one homeland for two peoples. Abu Awwad is founder of Al Tariq (The Way), which teaches Palestinians principles of nonviolent resistance.

(For more, see the front-page story in yesterday’s Times of IsraelAided by calendar, Jews and Arabs Unite in Joint Fast: West Bank activists organize Choose Life, a shared initiative to combat political violence and promote coexistence.)

ChooselifeprayerThough the fast originated in the Middle East, it has spread around the globe. Joint Jewish-Muslim fasts (and dual-faith study sessions and communal joint iftar / break-the-fast meals) are taking place not only in Israel and Palestine but also around the United States, in various locations around Europe, even in Kuwait. (For more information, you can check out the Choose Life FB page; for English speakers, I recommend the parallel site Fast for Peace, which arose independently but is very much the same.)

What does abstaining from food and drink for a day actually accomplish? I know that it won’t change the external realities on the ground. But communal fasting is a very old Jewish way of connecting with others in grief and in hope. I hope that the fast will make an impact on we who are participating in it, and will inspire us to take action to bring peace and healing. And perhaps the fast will bring some hope to those who hear or read about it, and will inspire them to take action, too. Here’s something written by Rabbi Jill Jacobs at T’ruah:

As Jews, we know that fasting is one of our tradition’s main expressions of a public crisis. While most of us don’t believe that God will literally heed our fast and come to intervene, we nevertheless yearn for a way to express our sorrow and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Publicly embracing an interfaith  spiritual action is a small step, but it is better than privately wringing our hands and beating our breasts.

I know from my other experiences of religious fasting (on Yom Kippur, which I’ve done almost every year since I became bat mitzvah, and on Tisha b’Av in more recent years) that a religious fast entails a kind of spiritual journey. I was in one spiritual / emotional place when the fast began this morning; I expect that I will be in a different place by the time it is over. I won’t know where the journey is going to take me until I get there.

The original call to fast for peace arises out of the violence, fear, and heartbreak happening in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza right now. There’s a natural commonality in the fact that both Jewish and the Muslim communities will be fasting today from sunup to sundown. I am glad to join Jews and Muslims around the world in dedicating our fast to praying for an end to the violence in the Middle East.

I also find myself returning to prayers for kindness and compassion, both in those wartorn places and in the rest of this world. The violence isn’t happening on the ground where I live, but the hatred and mistrust which have ousted kindness and compassion from the hearts of those who commit that violence — that hatred and mistrust are everywhere.

Fastforpeace-01My online friend Lee Weissman, who blogs and tweets under the moniker Jihadi Jew, recently posted that he can no longer engage in conversations about Israel and Palestine via social media because the vitriol is so great that he has given up that public discourse. I understand the impulse. The rhetoric I’ve been seeing (from all “sides”) has been bringing me to the brink of panic attacksbecause I am so emotionally invested that my heart feels bruised by every instance of violence, every angry comment, every insistence that “they” deserve whatever they get. If we can’t collectively transcend that kind of thinking, I don’t see how the situation will ever improve.

17 Tamuz is the day when the Jewish community remembers the breach of Jerusalem’s city walls by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE. That breach was the first damage to the city’s integrity. Three weeks later, the Babylonian army destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews. This year what is broken on 17 Tamuz is my heart. I’ve always been a “sensitive soul,” moved by strong emotion (both my own feelings, and those expressed by those around me). And I was in Israel and the West Bank only a few months ago, which rekindled my feeling of connection with that land and with its peoples. Maybe these are the reasons why this year the renewed violence and bloodshed there are so emotionally and spiritually devastating to me.

In the traditional Jewish understanding, a public communal fast can be a tool of teshuvah / turning-toward-God, an expression of grief and mourning, and/or an opportunity for supplication and pleading with God. My fast against violence today aims to be all three of these. I seek to make teshuvah for the ways I’ve been complicit in allowing violence to continue. I grieve every single death in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most especially those of children. And I ask God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might to help us build a different world, a world of connection and compassion and peace. Please, God, please, God, please.

I’ll close this post with a prayer written by Sheikh Ibtisam Mahamid and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, distributed by the Choose Life folks along with prayers and scriptural quotations for study in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. They write:

God of Life
Who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds

May it be your will to hear the prayer of mothers
For you did not create us to kill each other
Nor to live in fear, anger or hatred in your world
But rather you have created us so we can grant permission to one another to sanctify
Your name of Life, your name of Peace in this world.

For these things I weep, my eye, my eye runs down with water
For our children crying at nights,
For parents holding their children with despair and darkness in their hearts
For a gate that is closing and who will open it while day has not yet dawned.

And with my tears and prayers which I pray
And with the tears of all women who deeply feel the pain of these difficult days
I raise my hands to you please God have mercy on us
Hear our voice that we shall not despair
That we shall see life in each other,
That we shall have mercy for each other,
That we shall have pity on each other,
That we shall hope for each other

And we shall write our lives in the book of Life
For your sake God of Life
Let us choose Life.

For you are Peace, your world is Peace and all that is yours is Peace,
And so shall be your will and let us say Amen.

Amen.


German-Jewish cultural heritage in China | DW.DE
DW presents a look at the development of German-Jewish culturalheritage in China.
dw.de

A prayer in remembrance – now in Hebrew

A prayer in remembrance – now in HebrewPosted: 14 Jul 2014 08:26 AM PDT

Not long ago I posted a prayer co-written with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in remembrance of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. (It’s here: A prayer in remembrance.)

Rabbi Lila Veissid, who serves Kibbutz Ha-Ma’apil in central Israel,  has translated that prayer into Hebrew. With her gracious permission, her translation is reprinted here.

 

תפילת זיכרון
מאת הרבה רחל ברנבלט
והרבה לין גוטליב

 

יהי רצון שזכרם של בנינו
שנהרגו בשל שנאה חסרת פשר
יהיה לברכה.

יהי רצון שרוחם תעלה
ותתנחם בחיבוקה החם
והאימהי של אלוהים.

יהי רצון שילדינו היקרים יהיו בטוחים מכל צרה.
יהי רצון שכל הילדים יהיו ילדינו.
יהי רצון שנגן על כל ההורים מן השכול.

יהי רצון שלבבנו ולבבם של בני עמנו
יירפא במהרה בימינו
מפצעי העבר וההווה.

יהי רצון שכל הורה אבֵל ימצא ניחומים.
יהי רצון שנזכה לראות את היום
שבו לא יהיו עוד הורים אבֵלים
(You can read the prayer in English at the original post: A prayer in remembrance, July 3 2014.)

Poetry and prayer are all I’ve gotPosted: 13 Jul 2014 04:44 AM PDT

I have been watching the news (and reading blog posts and tweets and Facebook updates) out of Israel and the Palestinian territories with a sense of unbearable heartbreak. It brings me to the brink of something like a panic attack: my chest tightening, my throat choked with tears, the embodied feeling that the grief will wash me away altogether. And I am aware that those who live there are experiencing something far more powerful.

The only thing which brings any comfort is poetry and prayer. Bethlehem Blogger posted A prayer in times of violence,which though it is explicitly Christian speaks to me nonetheless. Wendell Berry’s poem The peace of wild things speaks right to my heart. I daven the oseh shalom blessing — “may the One Who makes peace in the high heavens make peace also for us” — with particular fervor.

If there are prayers or poems which bring you comfort at times like these, please feel free to share them in the comments so that other readers (and I) can benefit from them.

I wrote a prayer in 2012 called Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim, which begins:

For every aspiring ballerina huddled
scared in a basement bomb shelter

For every toddler in his mother’s arms
    behind rubble of concrete and rebar

For every child who’s learned to distinguish
“our” bombs from “their” bombs by sound…

 

I hate that it is once again resonant. I yearn for the day when this prayer will look outdated and ridiculous — when the children of our children, running across this prayer in some shred of their grandparents’ generation, will say “I can’t believe that war went on for so long.” Please, God, may the day come speedily and soon.

 

Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section


Pinchas-kl

WEEKLY Parshat Hashavuah


Fast of Tammuz 17

 Shiurim 17th of Tammuz  language  hebrew,french,english,spanish,german,russian SHIURIM & COMMENTARIES

CLICK “PLAYLIST” TOP LEFT OF THE VIDEO THEN SELECT YOUR VIDEO
CLICK sur “PLAYLIST” en haut à gauche de la video puis slectionner votre vidéo
CLICK “PLAYLIST”parte superior izquierda DEL VIDEO , seleccione su VIDEO
CLICK “Playlist” в левом верхнем углу VIDEO затем выберите VIDEO
CLICK “Playlist” oben links im VIDEO anschließend Wählen Sie Ihr VIDEO

Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions with Michael Choen

27.06.2013
A book (Biography) was published about Afghan Jewish Cultures & traditions by Michael Cohen.
With Shabbat and holidays music, that we all want to listen to and read the book.
Which will bring back the old good memories?
This book will bring back childhood memories.

To order a copy of this book please visit:
http://michaelcohenbook.com/

Natan Sharansky – This is Your Life – Limmud Conference 2013

24j-latest2

30.12.2013
From being a refusenik in Russia to deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Natan has led an extraordinary life. He talks about his life to Jane Eisner, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Daily Forward.

COJECO 10th Anniversary Celebration – Feliks Frenkel

Alon Nechushtan Videos

Alon Nechushtan Trio performs “Muppet Shock” at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. Celebrating the release of the “Words Beyond” CD on Buckyball Records.
Alon Nechustan – piano, Michael Bates – bass, Howard Owen – drums


Mark Rothko (Марк Ро́тко) Artworks and Analysis (Abstract Expressionist) – The Powerful Story of Art

06.07.2014
Mark Rothko (Latvian: Markus Rotkovičs, Russian: Марк Ро́тко; born Ма́ркус Я́ковлевич Ротко́вич; Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz; September 25, 1903 — February 25, 1970) was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He is generally identified as an Abstract Expressionist, although he himself rejected this label and even resisted classification as an “abstract painter.” With Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, he is one of the most famous postwar American artists.
“If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point. This documentary is interested in expressing the big emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”

“Di farshtoysene” fun Y.-L. Perets (Khane Fishman-Gonshor)

30.06.2014
י.־ל. פּרץ און די ייִדישע פֿרױ
דריטער טײל, חלק ב’׃ „די פֿאַרשטױסענע”
חנה פֿישמאַן־גאָנשאָר

Lectures sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

דער לײענזאַל
Leyenzal – A Yiddish Literacy Project

Magillah : Rozhinkes mit Mandlen [Raisins and Almonds] (Live 2012)

02.08.2012
April 5th, 2012 – A huge yiddish hit by A. Goldfaden, from the yiddish theatre (Michelle Heisler – voice, Henri Oppenheim – accordion, Julie Triquet – violin, Andy Dacoulis – guitar, Mathieu Deschenaux, double bass, Eric Breton – drums, Damian Nisenson – sax).

Music In the Holocaust – A Sonja Larson Presentation



Encounters with the Past: Remembering the `Bygone’ in Israeli Culture: Part 1-3

02.07.2014
The University of Washington’s 34th Annual Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies featured Professor Yael Zerubavel, director of The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. Zerubavel concludes the three-part series, Encounters with the Past: Remembering the “Bygone” in Israeli Culture, by looking at the new commemorations of Israel’s pioneering period, which have transformed into an “old past.” These changes illuminate profound transformations in contemporary Israel and Israelis’ understanding of their identities as well as their pasts.

A Guest at the Forverts – Motl Gordon

Motl Gordon visits “FORVERTS”
A program hosted by Boris Sandler

The Pin at Anne Frank Center

06.11.2013

L’Chayim – Janusz Makcuh – Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow

16.06.2014
The non-Jewish founder and director of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, Janusz Makuch sits to discuss his connection to the Jewish heritage and how he came to create one of the largest Jewish culture festivals in the world. With Mark S. Golub on LChayim.

The Dorel Livianu Music Museum

The Belzer Rebbe by the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5774 אדמו”ר של בעלז בכותל בראש חודש סיוון

31.05.2014

Answering Kidnapping with Kindness – Salomon Says

22.06.2014
Our role in the rescue mission

Please pray for the safe and speedy return of Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim, and Eyal ben Iris Teshura.

For more articles and videos by Rabbi Salomon visit http://www.aish.com

Special Mass Prayer at Talmon

20.06.2014

The Jewish Mobsters

Etgar Keret

Talk Yiddish To Me (Nisht-Dirty Parody)

Doni zasloff thomas

 

Elie Wiesel Interview with Oprah

Ben Gurion University

Lithuanian Jewish Culture

Temani Yemanie Hebrews

JEWISH WORLD : JewishNewsOne

Israel and Jewish Culture Michael Laitman

Popular Festival of Jewish Culture in Warsaw videos

 

Popular San Francisco Jewish Film Festival videos SFJFF Presents: The Tailor

12.02.2014
Culture and confusion meet on a Brooklyn street, in this hilariously charming tale of similarities amid diversity. Film directed by Gordon Grinberg

This short film is part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival short film showcase program, SFJFF Presents. To discover more great Jewish short films each month, join the SFJFF YouTube channel by clicking the red SUBSCRIBE button above.

For more details about SFJFF films and programs, visit http://www/sfjff.org.

24j-latest2

Descent for the sake of ascent: the fast of 17 Tamuz


Descent for the sake of ascent: the fast of 17 TamuzPosted: 09 Jul 2014 10:41 AM PDT

EJmR3188046On Tuesday, July 15, many Jews will observe Tzom Tamuz, “the fast of Tamuz” — one of Judaism’s minor fast days, commemorating the breach of Jerusalem’s city walls which led (three weeks later) to the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 C.E.

I say “many Jews” because I know that the minor fasts are not universally observed, especially in liberal Jewish communities. The notion of commemorating the first chink in Jerusalem’s armor almost two thousand years ago may seem strange to us.

But I think there’s value in observing 17 Tamuz, and being conscious of the Three Weeks which link it with Tisha b’Av, even if you do not fast, and even if you aren’t certain you actually want to mourn the fall of a Temple you can barely imagine.

There is a deep wisdom in the way the Jewish calendar unfolds. Our festivals and fast days are waypoints along the journey we travel each year. 17 Tamuz marks the beginning of the descent toward Tisha b’Av. At Tisha b’Av, we mark the beginning of the ascent toward the Days of Awe.

In Hasidic tradition there’s the idea that often in order to rise, one first has to fall. Yeridah tzorech aliyah: one has to go down in order to be able to go up. Descent for the sake of ascent. This drama plays itself out in a variety of places in Torah — for instance, in the Joseph story, in which “descent for the sake of ascent” is a recurring motif. The downs are necessary precursors to the ups.

For Lurianic kabbalists, the whole of creation was a shattering which it is our unique privilege to be able to rebuild. If there had never been a rupture, then there couldn’t be a healing.

EMy+barn+This drama plays itself out on the stage of every human life. We fall down, we get up again. And while our modern sensibilities may be offended by the notion that tragedy or trauma is necessary in order for growth or forward motion to appear, I believe that there are gifts to be found when circumstances have laid us low. As the 17th-century Japanese poet Mizuta Masahide wrote, “My barn having burned down, I found I could see the moon.”

17 Tammuz, the Three Weeks which follow it, and Tisha b’Av which comes at the end of those weeks, are a time for us to delve together into descent. It’s not only “my barn” which has burned down — it’sour barn, the place which was spiritual home for all of us together. It’s not only my life which sometimes contains brokenness or sorrow — it’s all of our lives. We’re in this together.

It can be tempting to want to paper over the places that hurt. To look on the bright side, to put on a happy face, to focus on the positive. I do these things all of the time. But 17 Tammuz and the weeks which follow are an opportunity to let ourselves experience moments of descent, together.

17 Tamuz is a day to consider: when and how do your “walls,” the boundaries of your emotional and spiritual integrity, feel breached? What is it like to feel that something painful has come through your defenses? When and how do we come to feel that the integrity of our community has been shattered? What issues, subjects, or sore spots make us feel defenseless and alone?

The tradition says that 17 Tammuz is the anniversary of the day when Moshe came down the mountain, saw the people worshipping the golden calf, and in heartbroken fury shattered the first set of stone tablets containing God’s words. What are the idols our communities have fallen into holding sacred? Can we allow ourselves to grieve the ways in which our communities are not yet what we most yearn for them to be?

The point of 17 Tammuz and the Three Weeks and Tisha b’Av isn’t wallowing in anger and sorrow. It’s allowing ourselves to recognize the things that hurt, the places where we are broken, so that together we can emerge from those places humbled and energized to begin the climb toward the spiritual heights of the High Holidays. Descent for the sake of ascent. If we’re willing and able to go down together, we build bonds of community which will lift us to greater heights when it’s time to climb up.

All of the things I’ve just written are, I think, true every year as we reach this moment in our seasonal-liturgical cycle. Here is something which is unique to this year:

This year the 17th of Tammuz falls during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when our Muslim cousins are fasting from dawn to nightfall every day. (This “minor fast” in our tradition is observed in the same way — morning to night, not 25 hours like Yom Kippur.) And this year, 17 Tammuz arises amidst tremendous bloodshed and suffering in Israel and Palestine — the murders of the three Israeli teens Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, and Eyal Yifrah; the murder of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, apparently burned alive; Hamas firing rockets into Israel (see A view from Jerusalem – Israel at war); Israel bombarding Gaza in return (see You can never be emotionally ready).

Eliaz Cohen, a poet who lives in the settlement of Gush Etzion, has suggested that in the midst of so much sorrow and violence in Israel and Palestine, Jews and Muslims can choose to consciously fast on this day in solidarity with one another, as a “Hunger Strike Against Violence.” You can learn more at Fasting Together, Jews and Muslims Choose Life (FB, mostly in Hebrew) 0r War Looming: Make Fasts of 17 Tammuz and Ramadan Hunger Strikes Against Violence(English). Some of us who are the talmidim (students) of Reb Zalman are taking on this joint fast in his memory, knowing that he wept for both the children of Abraham and the children of Ibrahim.

Whether or not you fast from food and drink on 17 Tammuz, I ask my Jewish and Israeli readers to please consider fasting from negative assumptions about our Muslim cousins and Palestinian neighbors; whether or not you are observing the Ramadan fast from food, I ask my Muslim and Palestinian readers to please consider fasting from negative assumptions about your Jewish cousins and Israeli neighbors in turn. May this minor fast day, and the following Three Weeks of opening ourselves to grief, bring us together in our low places so that together we may begin the work of building a better world.

Remembering my rebbe


Remembering my rebbePosted: 07 Jul 2014 08:56 AM PDT

Zalman-faceHow can I begin to write about Reb Zalman?

So many others knew him longer than I did. And so many others have written, and will write, about how his extraordinary life and work have shaped Jewish life today. I only knew his work for the last twenty years; I only knew him in person for ten years. Many of his students, colleagues, and friends spent a lifetime with him.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow has written, “No one else in the 20th/ 21st century  brought such new life, new thought, new joy, new depth, new breadth, new ecstasy, new groundedness, new quirkiness, into the Judaism he inherited –- and transformed.” (Reb Zalman: His Light is Buried Like A Seed — To Sprout.)

Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan has written, “Reb Zalman was an extraordinary individual who appeared at an extraordinary moment in time, and helped shape a response. In many ways, all of Judaism today is a renewed Judaism.” (A Special Person at a Special Time: Reb Zalman’s Jewish Renewal.)

Rabbi Jay Michaelson has written, “Hundreds of teachers, rabbis, cantors, and Jewish leaders found in Reb Zalman’s ‘translation’ of traditional Judaism into contemporary life a way to savor the blessings of Jewish life and practice, while consciously confronting those aspects of Jewish tradition which needed to be renewed — or discarded outright.” (Reb Zalman, the Prophet of Both-And)

Other people have written about him wisely and well, is what I’m saying. But his teachings and his life have been so foundational to my sense of what Judaism is and can be — I can’t let his passing elapse without writing something here. Writing is how I remember, and I want to remember him. Have you ever been around someone who — the moment you enter into their presence — you can just feel that they really have it together, that they’re tapped into something deep? Reb Zalman was one of those people.

I said last week that Reb Zalman is the reason I became a rabbi. And he is. I became a rabbi because I wanted to serve God and the Jewish people. But for many years I thought that was a yearning which would go unfulfilled. I found my teachers, my community, and ultimately my rabbinic lineage through Reb Zalman.

RebZ-DalaiLamaAnd I found Reb Zalman through Rodger Kamenetz.

In 1994, my dear friend David (who is now soon to be ordained a rabbi himself) gave me a copy of Rodger Kamenetz’s book The Jew in the Lotus. The story it tells is a true one: about the delegation of rabbis spanning the breadth of Judaism and Jewish practice who went together to Dharamsala, India to meet with the Dalai Lama and answer his question of how the Jewish poeple had survived 2000 years of Diaspora.

I remember reading that book — I was in college at the time — and being deeply moved by Rodger’s descriptions of Reb Zalman. I remember in particular the scene where Reb Zalman  goes to daven alongside Sikhs at prayer in their temple. Rodger writes:

Reb Zalman’s spontaneous davening in a Sikh temple had placed him squarely on the side of total immersion dialogue. Explaining to me later, he quoted from the Psalms, “I am a friend to all who respect you, O Lord.” The Sikh guru and he are “in the same business, struggling to see holy values don’t get lost. I see every other practitioner as organically doing in his bailiwick what I am doing in mine. When a non-Jewish person affirms me, I feel strengthened in my work. When I affirm a non-Jewish person, he or she feels strengthened in their work.” Zalman also cited Isaiah’s prophecy, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

…I was electrified by his joyous crossing of boundaries, his davening chutzpah. It broke through my own neat categories. I associated Orthodox practice with insularity. Yet here was Zalman, making contact with another religion by davening maariv.

I read that and I thought: holy wow — his roots are so deep, and his wings are so broad.

Here’s another scene from that book which moved me profoundly:

 The morning [Reb Zalman] led the davening, he came up to me during the last part of the Shema, touched me on the shoulder, looked straight into my eyes, and said, “Your God is a true God.” I found that a powerful challenge.

I usually felt as I prayed in a group that I was assenting to ideas and images that were very foreign to me or that I didn’t have time to check out. Zalman’s gesture had cut through that in a very personal way…. My God is a true God? Whch God was he talking about? Long white beard, old Daddy in the sky? Autocrat, general, father, king? Master of the Universe, doyen of regulations and punishments? These were the images that made me reject the very idea of God.

But in a funny mental jujitsu, the more I struggled with these images, the more what Zalman said came through. “Your God is a true God” meant to me that the images and the language weren’t going to be supplied in advance. I would have to find them for myself out of my own experience….

I think of that scene every time I daven the words Adonai eloheichem emet, “your God is a true God.” What does it mean to assert that my God is true? Perhaps that I am ready and willing to continue engaging with the tradition, with God, with our central stories and beliefs, in order to wrestle forth from all of those things a true relationship with the Holy One of Blessing. One way or another, Reb Zalman’s challenge to Rodger continues to resonate in me.

And, of course, there’s the chapter where the angel of the Jews meets on a high plane with the angel of Tibet. (If you’ve read the book, you know the one I mean. If you haven’t, I won’t spoil you — it’s worth reading in context. Trust me, this book is incredible.)

Zss-celebratory-prayerI reached the end of that book and I thought, “Wow, that rabbi sounds amazing. I didn’t know you could be a rabbi like that.” He was so clearly erudite, grounded, rooted in Jewish tradition (ordained by Chabad, for heaven’s sake) — and also equally clearly open to the unique wisdom available in other spiritual traditions.  Around that time, when my then-boyfriend, now my husband, asked me to help him understand what I loved about Judaism — what I dreamed Judaism could be; why I was attached to it; what I loved about it — I lent him Judith Plaskow’sStanding Again at Sinai and Rodger Kamenetz’s The Jew in the Lotus. (It is a source of endless joy to me that I have now had the opportunity to get to know both Judith and Rodger!) Over the next several years I read what I could about, and by, Reb Zalman. His words and actions, in Rodger’s book, had touched something deep in me.

For personal reasons, in the years after college, I went through a period of painful alienation from Jewish community. What brought me back in? My first week at Elat Chayyim, the Jewish Renewal retreat center where I had my first living experiences of Jewish Renewal community, Jewish Renewal learning, and most importantly Jewish Renewal prayer.

For reasons I couldn’t consciously explain, despite feeling distant from Jewish community, I signed up for a week-long retreat at Elat Chayyim with Reb Zalman. I’d come away from The Jew In The Lotus wondering whether this guy could possibly be as wonderful as Rodger made him sound. I needed to know whether he was for real. Unfortunately that summer he needed surgery and wasn’t able to be at Elat Chayyim in person, but I’d already committed the money and planned to take a week there that summer, so I chose a different week-long retreat and took the plunge.

My first week at Elat Chayyim proved to me that there was more in Judaism than I had ever dreamed. I came home from that week and told Ethan that I had found my teachers — that I wanted to become a rabbi someday like these people were rabbis. I learned that week that not only was Reb Zalman “for real,” but he was part of an amazing community of teachers, learners, and fellow seekers. People who yearned as I yearned. People who had dedicated their lives to opening up the immeasurable treasures of Jewish tradition to we who were thirsty. Reb Zalman was in many ways the grandfather of Jewish Renewal — and has left behind an amazing legacy of students, and their students, and their students, and generations of seekers and learners to come.

Reb Zalman on dialogue with Bishop Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and others: “What cosmology is needed to heal the planet?”One of the things which drew me to Reb Zalman and to Jewish Renewal was what he called “deep ecumenism” — not merely interfaith conversations on a surface or superficial level, but the need to enter into deep conversations with other people of faith, not only for our own sakes, but for God’s sake, and for the sake of the planet:

I’d like us to enter into dialogue with devoutness, a dialogue of devoutness. There is a dialogue of theology, and that’s mostly futile. Why? Because it begins with what we should finish with. All theology is the afterthought of a believer. If we can’t get to the primary stuff of belief …how do you get to the primary stuff of belief? By simply talking about how do you davven? If you show me your way that works for you I’ll show you mine and we can share. (From Deep Ecumenism, the transcript of a weeklong workshop taught at Elat Chayyim in 1998.)

He taught that every religion is an organ in the body of humanity — that we need each one to be what it most uniquely is (after all, if the heart tried to do the liver’s work, we’d be in trouble) and we also need each one to be in conversation and connection with the others (if the heart stopped speaking to the lungs, that wouldn’t be so good either.) I’ve pointed many times before to the story of Reb Zalman among the Sufis of Hebron, which remains one of my favorite stories about him. I was drawn from the start to his post-triumphalism — the knowledge that ours isn’t the only legitimate path to the One.

Reb_Zalman_2005Reb Zalman could be very serious when the moment demanded, but he was frequently merry when he taught or when he led davenen. His eyes twinkled. He laughed a big beautiful belly laugh. He sang often while teaching — lines of psalms or prayer, quotations, references, which were almost as likely to be in Arabic or Latin or Greek or Sanskrit as they were to be in Hebrew or Aramaic. He held an enormous wealth of kabbalistic and Hasidic teachings in his mind and was able to draw them forth and speak them in contemporary language, using metaphors which reached us where we are today.

He loved computer metaphors. He used to say that his first computer had only 36k of memory, and what he can do now on his computer he couldn’t have imagined then; just so, our increasing consciousness allows us to bring added holiness into the world in our generation. He taught us to think of the three words for “forgive us,” which we recite over and over on Yom Kippur, as “drag the sins into the trash; empty the trash; and wipe the hard drive clean.” I was always tickled when he pulled out science fiction metaphors, too. I remember hearing him teach about an imagined planet of two-headed beings; he used that story as a parable to explain the halakhic validity of counting those who are not men toward a minyan.

Or he would draw an analogy between how different religious traditions call on different names and faces of God, and “logging on” in different ways to the Cosmic life-source which we name as God. Our chants and prayers are the “password” which connect us with the Holy One of Blessing, and maybe our blessings connect us with this “port” and someone else’s words connect them with that “port,” but we’re all connecting with the same One. And, he would point out, in the past we saw a difference between praying, e.g., in the name of the God of Israel or praying Bismillah ir rahman ir rahim (in the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate) or praying in Jesus’ name. But that kind of triumphalism is no longer fruitful. As he wrote in “An Empathic Ecumenism:”

In the past every religious community wanted to make the deposit in the God-field only in their own name. They even saw it as a great combat in Heaven. Which religion is going to win? Which are going to be the victors in the religious sphere? It may have been necessary at one time in our development that we have such an attitude. But, today, this attitude just doesn’t work. The question now is not who is going to be the champion of all religions, but how can we potentiate all the memory, all the energy, all the awareness, all the spirituality of all those forces in order to raise them?

The question isn’t who’s going to “win” — it’s how can we all bring our energy, our spiritual technologies, our hearts and souls, together in order to effectively transform the broken world? “The only way to get it together,” he used to say, “is together.”

Singing, Reb Zalman dons the Bnai Or rainbow tallit which he designed years ago.He taught about paradigm shift, and saw the great events of the 20th century (from the horrors of the Shoah to the wonder of seeing Earth from space) as part of a new paradigm shift, a new turning. He taught about the importance of integral thinking, of seeking to build change which could both include and transcend what had come before. (This very much shapes the way Jewish Renewal rabbis think about halakha.) He taught us new (old) ways of entering deeply into prayer. The words of prayer, he taught us, are like a recipe book — but in order to be sustained by the recipes, we have to enact them, to feel them in our hearts and souls.

In recent years he spoke to us frequently about how this “deployment” would someday end. I love that language: the sense that God had deployed his soul (indeed, has deployed all of our souls!) into this life to do particular work. He knew his time in this incarnation would not be forever. When he spoke to us in January at the OHALAH conference, he said:

It’s such a wonderful trip that the Ribbono Shel Olam put me on. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the movie in which I acted in life! It is so amazing. And yet. Movies come to an end too…

When my tour of duty is over, the One who deployed me will find others to deploy.

I posted not long ago about about the book The December Project, by Sara Davidson, which consists of interviews with Reb Zalman about death and dying and end-of-life work, framed by her experiences and her skepticism and her transformation. If you never had the blessing of being able to learn directly with Reb Zalman, this book is one way to get a glimpse of how he spoke. Another way, of course, is to dip into some of the wealth of material on YouTube. I am already finding sustenance in watching short YouTube videos — hearing his voice, seeing the sparkle in his eye, remembering that his teachings are alive even though his body has reached its rest. (I can also recommend his books — I frequently lend out my copy of Jewish With Feeling, and his recent book Davening: a Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer is terrific, and oh, his new edition of Psalms in a translation for praying…!)

He taught me to talk not about God but to God — which has deeply informed not only my prayer life but also the way I’m trying to teach our son about God. At OHALAH in January he remarked:

When I drive, I have a sense that the Ribbono Shel Olam in blue jeans is sitting in the passenger seat and I can just talk. Even that kind of thing, having a daily conversation with the holy Shekhinah in that way, is what keeps you on track…

I can’t tell you how often I have followed his example and spoken with God while driving alone on a quiet country road, or how frequently that practice has opened my heart and sustained me.

The last time he and I spoke was some months ago when I shared a post I’d been working on for a long time — abouttaharah before cremation. Once the post was online, I sent an email about it to the listserv for OHALAH, the association of Jewish Renewal clergy. Within an hour of my sending it, I got a call from Reb Zalman. “Reb Rachel lebn,” he said, “I want to talk with you about what you’ve written.” And we talked, and he clarified some things about his own thinking, and later that day I added an addendum to the post. He was actively engaged with thinking and teaching until the very end of his life — he had just completed a Shavuot retreat at Isabella Freedman a few weeks ago when he fell ill and was hospitalized.

I am even more grateful now that I took our infant son to a Shavuot retreat with Reb Zalman at Isabella Freedman the spring before I received smicha  — and that I was privileged to hear in person the Torah he gave over at 4am that night, the last and most intense teaching of the tikkun which led us to the dawn. Someday I will be able to tell our son, “You don’t remember this, but your first Shavuot, I took you to a retreat with my rebbe, and it was amazing.”

I find myself thinking now about something else he said at OHALAH a few months ago: even as he was reminding us to hold fast to those things which are foundational and should not be changed, he also urged us to continue innovating and exploring. That was Reb Zalman in a nutshell: deeply rooted in the soil of our tradition, and also stretching branches out toward the highest heavens. He said:

Ours is the beta version of what klal Yisrael needs. And in a beta version, not everything that’s being tried is going to be finally adopted! But we have to continue to experiment, to experience, so that the things that come from the past, we can see how can they be updated and shaped. In this way the past can serve us in the present and in the future.

And when we realize that there are certain things that cannot be updated, and we open ourselves to theRuach haKodesh and ask ourselves what the future needs, then we learn to see in the present what we need to create.

That kind of openness is what led him to playfully experiment with so many different things: from recorded prayers designed to be heard on a walkman so that Hebrew would flow into one ear and English into the other, to bringing ancient Jewish meditation practices to the forefront of modern Jewish life, to workshops in “davenology,” to chanting English translations of Torah and haftarah to the ancient melodies of trope, symbolic rainbow-striped tallitot, calling people to the Torah in group aliyot and giving group blessings, eco-kashrut, and countless other ideas and innovations which have shaped Jewish life today across the denominations. As his official ALEPH obituary notes, “Where others saw walls, he saw doors.”

When I learned that Reb Zalman’s soul had left this earthly plane, I was at the synagogue preparing for Shabbat. One of my congregants, who was here that afternoon and saw me weeping, left a card for me on my desk. “How blessed we are if, in our lifetime, we meet someone whose guiding light leads us where we are meant to go,” she wrote. I am blessed indeed.

RebZalman2007-byDanSieradskiPhoto by Dan Sieradski, 2007.

What makes a rebbe? One traditional answer is that “A rabbi answers questions; a rebbe answers people. A rabbi hears what you say with your mouth; a rebbe hears what you say with your soul.” Reb Zalman taught that “rebbe” is a role — not a specific person, necessarily, but a way of relating. He taught that we can be rebbeim for each other, that we can consciously choose to move in and out of the rebbe role. “Everyone should, for time to time, get the chance to sit in the master’s chair,” he said in 2013. “Just so that they can get attuned to what happens when you reach up and say, dear God, what would you like me to share with these people? And to see what comes; it’s very beautiful, very holy.” He used to do an actual exercise where everyone would sit at the table, with him in the rebbe’s chair at the head, and he would offer a teaching — and then instruct everyone to rise and shift over one chair, and whoever had moved into the rebbe’s chair would have the opportunity to be in that role for a little while. (In retrospect I see in that teaching yet another gentle way of reminding us that his deployment wouldn’t be forever.)

It seems to me that a rebbe is not only a pastoral caregiver but a spiritual conduit. The Zohar, a foundational work of Jewish mysticism, refers to Moses as the raaya meheimna of Israel — a phrase which can be translated both as “faithful shepherd” and “shepherd of faith.” A rebbe, like Moses, not only cares for his flock, but serves as a conduit for our faith, connecting us with God. The rebbe is never the object of that faith, the endpoint of the faith — God forbid we should worship a rebbe, even a great one! Rather, the rebbe opens the door and helps us connect with God. She is not the moon, but the finger pointing to the moon.

It is said of Moshe Rabbenu, Moses our Teacher, that “never again will there arise a prophet like Moshe.” And indeed there will not. Moshe led the people out of Egypt and into a new reality. Moshe spoke directly to God, face-to-face. And there are ways in which Reb Zalman feels to me like a Moshe — irreducible, irreplaceable. There will never be another one like him. No one will ever bridge between pre-Shoah Europe and postmodern America, between deep Hasidic immersion and far-flung spiritual influences, between kabbalah and Sufism and Native American shamanistic practice and Buddhism and integral theory and transpersonal psychology and Gaia theory and computer metaphors, the way that he did. Never again will there arise a teacher like Reb Zalman.

And at the same time, I think back to a Hasidic story I heard Reb Zalman tell many times, about the hasid who inherited his father’s Hasidic dynasty and promptly began doing things differently than his father had done. His followers complained, but he countered that he was doing precisely what his father had done — “my father was the rebbe in the way his heart called him to be, and I am the rebbe in the way my heart calls me to be.”

There will never be another Reb Zalman, but I hope that all of us who are his students, and the students of his students, and the students of his students of his students, will follow in his footsteps — not by mimicking his life and practice but by living out Jewish Renewal in the ways our hearts and souls call us to do, and the ways we perceive the Holy One is calling us to do. By serving the Holy One of Blessing as only we can. By doing the work of healing and bridge-building for which our souls were deployed in this world. That’s how we can honor his memory. And I feel certain that somewhere, somehow, in some ineffable way that I can’t intellectually understand, he is smiling at us still, and singing with us, andshepping naches to see us continuing the work of renewing Judaism and healing our earth.

 

Some of the other posts I’ve found meaningful:

  • Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi – Jewish, With Feeling (Rabbi Shulamit Thiede) “Reb Zalman reached out to the disaffected, to the secular Jew, the alienated Jew, to any Jew. You only needed to stop for a moment and he could hold you with a story – each blessed with an unforgettable punch line that always, inevitably, elicited a smile, outright laughter, a nod, or a tear. // This morning I told a friend, ‘He gave something to everyone.'”
  • Rest in Peace Reb Zalman: My Rebbe Died Today (Amichai Lau-Lavie) “[T]he sacred master, holy fool, kindest soul, fierce teacher, visionary founding father and leader of  the Jewish Renewal movement, the holy spark responsible for countless souls on fire all over the world, for a global spiritual revolution, for the revival of a Judaism that matters to the body, earth, soul and mind, the genius whose prophecy of paradigm shift was and still is ahead of its time – died in his sleep today, at 89 years old…Few could straddle the authentic hasidic and mystical path along with true devotion to the soul of the planet, and to every sacred path. None did it with such elegance and depth and grace.”
  • Reb Zalman Married Counterculture to Hasidic Judaism (Shaul Magid) “Not since Mordecai Kaplan’s founding of the Reconstructionist movement has an American Jewish spiritual leader offered as detailed and as systematic a vision for Judaism in the twentieth century. Part of Schachter-Shalomi’s project is founded on his belief that exploring the untapped commonalities between religious traditions and spiritual practices would both enhance Judaism and move human civilization further toward overcoming oppositional barriers…”
  • On the Death of Zalman Schachter Shalomi, z’l: A Great Jewish Teacher and the Founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement (Rabbi Michael Lerner) “Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, [was] one of the most creative and impactful Jewish theologians of the last forty years… I write with tears in my eyes and love in my heart for this incredible teacher, a source of inspiration for literally hundreds of thousands. I loved this man very very deeply for the past fifty one years that I knew him… What was most amazing about Zalman was that he continued to grow throughout his life both intellectually and spiritually.”
  • Laying Our Rebbe to Rest (Rabbi Marc Soloway) “So many of us feel like we are among the mourners in this loss…I think the thousands and thousands of people who have been touched by Reb Zalman each carry their own piece, their own story, their own holy sparks of this great man. My hope and prayer is that we can and will each make manifest these holy shards, so that Reb Zalman’s light continues to shine in this dark world and that we, collectively, can continue his paradigm-shifting work of inspiring and lifting up souls.”
  • My mentor, my teacher, dear friend (Rabbi Art Green) “Our lives were dedicated to the very same question: How do we take this mystical Judaism we both love and make it alive and vital for the current era? Zalman was driven by that question, knowing how rich and deep the sources of that teaching are, and how alien and difficult their original garb is for those we teach. What should we keep of that tradition? What should we adapt? What should we lovingly leave behind? How do we figure out that balance, not “losing the baby with the bathwater,” as it were? We both have given our lives to that search. //…Zalman was my model of the contemporary Jewish seeker. That model means both feet firmly planted in the tradition; both eyes wide open to what’s happening in the world, both today and in anticipated tomorrow. Zalman PIONEERED this path; I was privileged to follow it, in my own way.”
  • Fifty Year Tribute, Passed but Present (Morah Yehudis Fishman) “In one recent class, he referred to the movie,Her, and especially the line that the man says to his living computer- ‘Are you as intimate with anyone else as with me?’ And the answer came back- ‘multitudes.’ Reb Zalman said that’s the way it is with G-d. And I would like to add, that’s the way it was with Reb Zalman. So many people, men women, and children-here and around the world felt that hug of intimacy from Reb Zalman as if you were his ‘one and only love.’ And each of us was, because his heart was bigger than this whole world, and will continue to embrace us from wherever he is.”
  • Obituary posted by Miles Netanel-Yepez, one of his dear collaborators: Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, Father of Jewish Renewal, Dies at 89. It’s an extraordinary obit, which explores (among other things) his legacy within Jewish Renewal, how he reached spiritual seekers who had been disaffected from Judaism, and his longtime friendship with spiritual leaders such as Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama. Also don’t miss the recent exhibit curated by the University of Colorado: Reb Zalman and the Origins of Post-Holocaust American Judaism.

 

 

Memorial contributions may be made to ALEPH’s Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Endowment for Jewish Renewal. Please give generously in his memory and to help sustain his legacy.

German-Jewish cultural heritage in China | DW.DE
DW presents a look at the development of German-Jewish culturalheritage in China.
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WEBCAST #1: The Challenge of Our Times

 

WEBCAST #2: Shlichut: Marching Orders from the Rebbe for Each of Us

 

WEBCAST #3: The Rebbe: What It Means to Me