The Sunday’s New York Times of the last week in November highlighted a front-page story about the dismal future of New York City: a huge photo of the Statue of Liberty – under water – with the caption, 50-100-200 years. The storm, questions about the capacity of our cities’ infrastructures to take care of us, and an increasingly fragile and volatile eco-system have created a new undercurrent of anxiety. Add to that the elections, Israel’s vulnerability and the violence in the Middle East – and it seems like there is an unending list of important things hanging in the balance.
Every year, under the full harvest moon, Jews gather with friends and family in the most unusual of places – in the most fragile and exquisite of spaces, the Sukkah. I remember decades ago, when our children were very young, going to an exhibit of dollhouses at the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan. Most of them were beautiful, but predictable – small replicas of beautiful homes we have all seen. Only one was pure fantasy. It looked as if it were woven from cobwebs, twigs and leaves, an ethereal dream spun from the marvels of the natural world. We lead a life protected from this natural world.
A Torah Mystery: Actually, a double Torah Mystery! We remember the time in the Torah, back in Exodus, when Moses has climbed Mt. Sinai, and was up there for forty days as the people waited – not too patiently – down at the bottom of the mountain. He’s up there longer than the people expected. […]
In 1984, David and I moved to New York with our four little children and David’s grandmother, Mutti – our children’s great-grandmother, already in her late 80’s and wheelchair bound. It was probably because of Mutti that we ended up living in a castle in Riverdale. Our landlady, Hungarian Episcopalian Wally, had been raised by […]
You ever had one of those “What’s wrong with this picture?” experiences? I had one when I travelled for two weeks with the Kol Ami high school kids who spent this summer in Israel. They were there with about 100 other kids from Reform Synagogues around the country. While there, I noticed a very lovely […]