jew on this

critical, progressive ideas from pondering jews

Category: jewish holidays

the four…

by jewonthisguest

as said at a second night seder in melbourne by z.
hebrew via the interwebs.

בָּרוּךְ הַמָּקוֹם, בָּרוּךְ הוּא. בָּרוּךְ שֶׁנָּתַן תּוֹרָה לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל, בָּרוּךְ הוּא. כְּנֶגֶד אַרְבָּעָה בָנִים דִּבְּרָה תּוֹרָה . אֶחָד חָכָם, וְאֶחָד רָשָׁע, וְאֶחָד תָּם, וְאֶחָד שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל

חָכָם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מַה הָעֵדוֹת וְהַחֻקִּים וְהַמִשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֶתְכֶם? וְאַף אַתָּה אֱמָר לוֹ כְּהִלְכוֹת הַפֶּסַח: אֵין מַפְטִירִין אַחַר הַפֶּסַח אֲפִיקוֹמָן

רָשָׁע מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת לָכֶם? לָכֶם – וְלֹא לוֹ. וּלְפִי שֶׁהוֹצִיא אֶת עַצְמוֹ מִן הַכְּלָל כָּפַר בְּעִקָּר. וְאַף אַתָּה הַקְהֵה אֶת שִנָּיו וֶאֱמֹר לוֹ: בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה יי לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם. לִי – וְלֹא לוֹ. אִילּוּ הָיָה שָׁם, לֹא הָיָה נִגְאָל

תָּם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מַה זֹּאת? וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו: בְּחֹזֶק יָד הוֹצִיאָנוּ יי מִמִּצְרָיִם, מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים

וְשֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל – אַתְּ פְּתַח לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר, בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה יי לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם

Blessed is the blessing. Blessed that we can sit as friends, as family and as fucked-up individuals lashed together by empty ritual, tradition and blood and fill this with meaning. That we can build and destroy together.

The Torah speaks of Four Sons – not really, it doesn’t exist in that form – but the Rabbis, as men, thought that there were four sons worthy of inclusion and many invisible daughters who weren’t worth mentioning at all. They also didn’t mention animals, non-Jews and people who didn’t resemble themselves. Fuck that!

The Symbol of Wisdom – this symbol is the all-knowing, all powerful patriachal dictator that we internalise as we are socialised in our houses, our families and communities. he confuses the narrative with historical factoids and presents a slick retelling of the story as a totally reasonable history. and we internalise and adopt these stories as our own. to this, we must say, fuck us!

The Symbol of Wicked – this symbol is the land developer who talks about property prices and never about Indigenous people and their land, and the minor functionaries of capitalism who grease the wheels while complaining ironically about being functionaries of capitalism, and the csg volunteers who perpetuate and construct the siege mentality that zionism so loves in melbourne. to this, we must say, fuck us!

The Symbol of the Simple – this symbol is of the status quo, of those parts of us that think that rape culture isn’t a problem because it’s everywhere and that episode 9 of Girls was fine because it didn’t confront, call-out and reject the rape scene at the end between Adam and that random character. to this, we must say, fuck us!

The Symbol of the Blank – this symbol is of the uninformed, of those parts of us who think the Jewish News is a source of information, that Australian history begins in 1788, that Prisoner X and Zionism is totally fine, and that refugees who risk their lives on boats are queue jumping scum. to this, we must say, fuck us!

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pesach music

by tobybee

here are two versions of chad gadya for you, as – in Australia at least – we get close to the start of Pesach.

The first by Arab Jewish women’s choir “Shirana” from The Arab-Jewish community center in Jaffa. (hattip to Sol Salbe)

and the second, Chazzan Benzion Miller & Yanky Lemmer, accompanied by an all star Klezmer quartet (Frank London – Trumpet; Michael Winograd – Clarinet; Aaron Alexander – Drums; Patty Farrell – Accordion), in Brooklyn just the other night

enjoy! and may we take seriously the memory that we were once slaves in biblical egypt, and take seriously the injunction to turn that memory into (radical) change in all our communities (even the ones we think we’re not a part of) and personal interactions.

light

by tobybee

if you’re looking for somewhere to get some beautiful candles from for chanukah (or, indeed, any jewish ritual candles) you should very much think about ordering them from jonah at narrow bridge candles. we used them last year for occupy chanukah at occupy melbourne and they were absolutely beautiful.

what’s the idea behind them? jonah explains:

When my father died, I wanted to honor his memory and my grief through the traditional ritual of lighting a Shiva candle. The only Shiva candle available to me was made in Israel. In that moment, Israel’s monopoly on Judaica broke my heart, adding the tremendous weight of participation in Palestinian genocide to my already overwhelming loss.

I want to tell a story in which Jews are not bound to a nation built on oppression, or the building of a nation at all, but kindle our traditions of radicalism and justice wherever we are. Through Narrow Bridge Candles, I seek to create more space for ritual with integrity and liberatory potential.

For those of us acting in solidarity with Palestine, there is much work to be done. Palestinian Civil Society has put forth a clear and unified call for Boycotting, Divesting from, and Sanctioning Israel (BDS). Boycotting Israeli goods by itself will not be enough to decolonize Palestine. However, BDS can be, perhaps, a narrow bridge; a clear and sturdy path forward.

Narrow Bridge Candles currently offers Hanukah, Shabbat and Havdalah candles. Im still working on Yahrtzeit and Shiva candles. All candles are made from 100% beeswax from hives in Oakland and Berkeley from the Bee Healthy Honey Shop in Oakland. There is no added dye or fragrance.
All candles are hand dipped with love.
Profits of Narrow Bridge Candles go to support the Stop the JNF Campaign.

to get them by chanukah you need to order them by november 16th – which is super soon! so get on it!

multiculturalism/alienation

by tobybee

I ran into a friend, A., at uni on Friday. we had a brief chat about work and the problems of the shared office space, and she asked me if I was coming to a party that a different friend was having that night. I said no, I had ‘family dinner’ (the euphemism I use when telling non-jewish friends what I do on Friday nights, because I don’t think they’ll know what I’m saying if I say I have shabbes dinner, or shabbat, and I really hate using the word sabbath). A. said, ‘oh, cute!’ I thought – no, not cute. Why are religious/cultural practices cute? And then I got annoyed that I don’t just say explicitly what I’m doing, that I hide in some way (but I also know that constantly explaining gets boring and annoying, and that that’s why I do it)

The other week I was talking with another friend, B., and she asked me if yom kippur is a big family time, because a band that had been booked for a lefty event on Tuesday night had pulled out with late notice, citing yom kippur as their reason. In my confused, disbelieving state (what, was she checking up on them? Did she think that those sneaky jews had used some mystical jewish excuse to screw people over?) I just said yes. And then later regretted that I hadn’t clarified that no, it’s not (just) family time, it’s go-to-shul-and-contemplate-your-actions-and-repent-and-reflect time. And regretted that I had participated in answering the question at all.

Another friend had also organised a different lefty event for that same night. Two events that I would have liked to go to, if it hadn’t been kol nidre. When I expressed some annoyance that there were these two events happening that night B. said, ‘well, I didn’t organise them. And anyway, that band didn’t even remember, so why should we know!’

this is what Australian multiculturalism looks like. Jewishness is cute, it’s bagels, and cakes, and asking native informants, and one person’s actions and ideas standing for all jews. It’s not letting it get in the way of the dominant society living their lives how they want to. It’s me second-guessing myself, and wondering if I should even post this, knowing that there’s a chance these friends (who I really value and love) may read it.

for a sweet year

by tobybee

please don’t spill over, dear tomatoes, i prayed. alas, to no avail…

gut yontif, dear readers. i’m finishing up cooking an eggplant and tomato bake for erev rosh hashana dinner tonight. and so, i wish you a nourishing, fulfilling, self-reflective year to come. a year filled with love, laughter, and friendships. with the strength to cope with adversity, and the strength to ask for help. and the strength and care to offer help. the determination to offer forgiveness, to others and to yourself. the desire to right the wrongs that you perpetrate, knowingly and unknowingly. the willingness to see what structures of oppression you fall victim to, and which ones you are complicit in. and to do what you can to not be complicit. the assurance that you will dance as you further the revolution.

my cooking playlist:
the wailing wall
the shondes
leonard cohen

Occupy Chanukah…

by tobybee

Some of us who are involved in Occupy Melbourne (myself, Tal Slome, and Max Kaiser) organised an Occupy Chanukah event for last Tuesday night (as mentioned below). About 25 people came,  both Jews and non-Jews, and we did some readings and had some interesting discussions, said the relevant prayers, lit our decolonisation Chanukah candles from Narrow Bridge Candles, and ate some delicious ponchkas.

The three of us who organised the event put together a couple of things: a readings booklet, (which was a collection of previously published writings from the interwebs, and some bits that we wrote ourselves) which we read through as a group, each person reading a small section as we moved around the circle; and a sheet with the relevant prayers and a few Chanukah recipes from around the world. In the readings, we wrote, in part:

Thoughts on the Maccabees and their push for Jewish homogeneity…

We have a sense now that, after rededicating the Second Temple, the Maccabees fought to create a Jewish community that was homogenous and not in any way ‘Hellenized’. That is, they worked for an idea of Judaism and Jewish identity which would be ‘pure’. But as we stand here today, in the space of the Occupy Movement, at Occupy Melbourne, we purposely stand in solidarity with others. And in order to do so, we embrace an idea of Jewish identity which is diasporic: that is cosmopolitan, and stands in common, in solidarity, with other movements for liberation (and liberation from what, and towards what, must be a common question).

We take an idea of diasporism that is multiple, not singular, and that embraces both Chanukah and Occupy Melbourne, from Jewish writers such as John Docker, who lives in Canberra and who wrote that diaspora is ‘a sense of belonging to more than one history, to more than one time and place, more than one past and future. Diaspora suggests belonging to both here and there, now and then. Diaspora suggests the omnipresent weight of pain of displacement from a land or society, of being an outsider in a new one. Diaspora suggests both lack and excess of loss and separation, yet also the possibility of new adventures of identity and the continued imagining of unconquerable countries of the mind.’

We take an idea of belonging that means that we challenge the idea – perpetuated by many within the Jewish community and without, historically (such as by the Maccabees), and today – that standing alongside others amongst whom we live, and sharing cultures with them, is inherently bad, and we avow, alongside Ella Shohat, who writes from New York (via Iraq), that we will not allow ourselves to be defined as exclusively Jewish, ‘as [inherently] closer to other [Jews] than to the cultures of which [we] have been a part.’ We at Occupy Chanukah reject the idea that ethnic, racial, religious purity is superior to hybridity, or to internal difference. We also avow that forced assimilation – the pressuring of marginalised groups to conform, which is all too common in this country today – must be fought against. We stand in solidarity with those many Jews throughout history, including in the Chanukah story, who have fought against those rulers, and social pressures, which instructed Jews (and others) to conform.

And so we remember this moment in Jewish history here, at Occupy Melbourne, in order to write it anew into the history books.

For as we have seen, Chanukah has undergone many transitions of history.

So we remember this Jewish moment to remember a Jewish identity and to remember the legacy of resilience that past Jews have bequeathed us; to remember the ways in which Jewish resistance has been variously played out; to remember the beauty and creativity of forms of Jewish longevity.  But also to remember that we are a marginalised people, and that we stand with other marginalised peoples; to remember that the condition of being marginalised is, in the end, quite ordinary, and for so many an everyday affair. And that to be subjected to state-based violence is everyday, and is built into the system as it currently stands; to be subjected to material and discursive, or physical and oral violence, is, for many of us, an everyday affair.

photo credit: Sharne Vate

Here is the Occupy Chanukah at Occupy Melbourne program and the Occupy Chanukah prayer/song/recipe info, so feel free to have a read and use them (or bits of them) in any future Chanukah events you organise…

rad(ical) jews…

by tobybee

a couple of plugs for some excellent things going on in the Melbourne Jewish community…

first off, a few of us yidden who are involved in Occupy Melbourne have organised an Occupy Chanukah for erev Chanukah, or this coming Tuesday night. Here’s the info:

We invite everyone to attend a radical celebration of Chanukah.

What is Chanukah?

Chanukah is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE.

The Chanukah story is a tale of successful revolt against an empire and of an inspiring resilience and resistance of an oppressed peoples. ‘Occupy Chanukah’ will ask what we can learn from this story, what different interpretations are offered, how we can go about building a critique of the Jewishnesses that are state-centred in the Chanukah story and will explore some of the radical possibilities that diasporic Jewishness/Judaism present us with.

Join us, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, for an evening of discussions, songs, storytelling, dreidel spinning and latke and chocolate eating.

We encourage you to bring along something to share – whether it’s a reading of some sort, some food, or a dreidel!

when? December 20th (erev Chanukah) from 5.30 – 6.30pm
where? the Occupy Melbourne site (currently Flagstaff Gardens, but keep an eye out for location changes)

so come! join us! if you want to check out the facebook event (to let us know you’re coming, or share the info around with others etc etc), it’s here

And secondly, Dave Slucki, a postdoc in Jewish Studies at Monash Uni (and whose words have appeared here at jewonthis) has a book coming out, based on his PhD thesis. The book is called The International Jewish Labor Bund after 1945: Toward a Global History, and you can pre-order it here. So, we say a massive mazaltov to Dave, and tell the rest of you to get on it – get a copy so you can learn a whole lot about an important part of modern Jewish history (and you can support young Jewish academics while you’re at it)!

Modern Atonement or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Chazzanus

by tobybee

We’re very excited to bring to you a special guest post from the lovely Avi Fox-Rosen. A friend of mine, Avi Fox-Rosen is a working guitarist, and singer songwriter who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Avi has released several albums of original music, most recently “Welcome to the Show.” He works with many new Yiddish projects; Benjy Fox-Rosen, Yiddish Princess, Basya Schechter, and Adrienne Cooper. He’s a frequent collaborator with radical street puppeteer Jenny Romaine, and is part of a collaborative organizing group that creates an annual radical queer Purim happening in NYC that draw over 500 people. Friend Avi on Facebook, and check out avifoxrosen.com

***********************************

My name is Avi Fox-Rosen. I was one of the leaders of the Kol Nidre service at Occupy Wall Street, and given the seasonal Jewish inclination to come clean, I want to start this reflection with a clean slate.

I’ll say a little bit about who I am, and who I’m not.

I am incredibly ambivalent about my Jewishness. Which is to say I love being Jewish with all my heart… Which is also to say I am incredibly impatient with the hypocrisies of Jewish communities, Jewish rituals, and, yes, Jews ourselves. Let me tell you a little more about my hypocrisies.

Although I’m literate enough in traditional Jewish liturgy to lead many services, including a Kol Nidre service, I’m not a practicing religious Jew. I have many friends and family with rabbinic aspirations, but nope, I have none. I cannot think of any more torturous way to spend my life (zay gezint to all those who choose that path).

I’m an atheist… or rather, I believe that the God that may or may not exist does not suffer from being aware of our human affairs, and does not take sides in human bickering.

Ironically, I do spend a significant portion of my professional life working in religious Jewish contexts, teaching Jewish children how to sing out to the God I don’t particularly believe in. I often instruct kids in the subtleties of liturgical music, or musically accompany rabbis and cantors as they earnestly offer their teachings and prayers for their communities.

I do this because it helps me make rent and support what I really love to do. I’m a performing artist, a musician and singer. I love to play, and I love to participate in and observe SPECTACLE! I love being on stage, and to energize communities through performance.

I have left leaning politics, perhaps inching towards the radical left. But I’m not especially an activist. I am an often absent, though dues-paying member of Jews For Racial and Economic Justice. I align myself with the Queer community, and I’m bisexual. I am a gentrifier, despite my ideals; the housing market in Brooklyn is such that the only apartments I can afford are in neighborhoods where my presence changes the demographic. I vote, though I’m not really involved in local politics.

I have another confession…
I love chazzanus, which is traditional cantorial a capella singing.
Yom Kippur, particularly Kol Nidre, which is the service that marks the start of the 25 hour fast, can be a dreadful time for me most years. Why? It should be a highlight, because if I go to synagogue the music can be AMAZING! The melodies are somber, and celebratory, and terrifying, and haunting, and lovely, and tear-jerking. But, because I have a good sense of what I like in chazzanus, I also have a good sense of when something is lacking. And sadly, the places with the best chazzanus have the worst politics. And the places with great politics do NOT HAVE REAL CHAZZANUS!!!! They might have nice music, they might have creative arrangements, but almost as a rule, liberal Jewish congregations don’t offer strong traditional chazzanus.

You see, its tough to be a Jewish atheist on the radical queer left with a soft spot for traditional chazzanus. You follow me?

A little over a week ago, Dan Sieradski posted to Facebook, inquiring if anyone would be interested in participating in a Kol Nidre service at Occupy Wall Street. Immediately, I knew I wanted to be involved. I contacted Dan, and signed myself up. Not out of religious devotion or piety, but out of a fascination with this moment. Dan’s call for help to make this service happen ticked all of the right boxes for me: a massive public spectacle using traditional Jewish liturgy as a framing device for social commentary and foment; an opportunity to publicly ally a segment of the Jewish left with the OWS protests; a place to sing the CHAZZANUS I want to hear, with the POLITICS that I aspire to. GEVALT!!

Dan Sieradski was the point person for all parts of this service, and he continues to coordinate the ongoing Occupy Judaism movement at OWS. He coordinated those of us who volunteered to lead, and I along with Sarah Wolf and Getzel Davis, with Yosef Goldman and Ezra Weinberg advising, planned the service. Who are those people? Rabbis and rabbis in training, wonderful folks one and all. Me? Well… by now you kinda know me.

Even as an atheist, as a non observant Jew, I am a sucker for ritual.
Kol Nidre is a helluva powerful ritual moment, and Kol Nidre at OWS did not disappoint.

On the night of Friday October 7th, we began to gather across the street from the main occupation in Zuccotti Park, in the square in front of The Brown Brothers Harriman building. Hundreds of Jews of different ages, observances, beliefs, economic backgrounds, racial identities, and gender identities assembled. We were also joined by non-Jews who wanted to gather in solidarity, and many intrigued onlookers passing by the square. Definitely my kind of scene.

We organized ourselves in concentric circles, with those of us facilitating in the center. The service is a blur, but I hope I will always remember the sensation of standing in the center of this collection of people striving to create new meaning within this Yom Kippur ritual. Looking out to see friends, allies, strangers, and even people with whom I’ve had significant disagreements, I was filled with pride and a sense of good luck to serve as a conduit for this community.

Yet the meaning of the words we say in Kol Nidre prayer is remarkably out of touch with the sense of ritual centrality. The central meaning can be roughly translated as, “We hereby retract any vows that we should make in the year to come. Any promises we should make are all null and void.” This renunciation traditionally applies to spiritual vows and internal promises, not business or interpersonal agreements.

I understand the literal meaning of the words of Kol Nidre. I understand elements of its historical context. In the past, Jews considered vows and promises to be of supreme spiritual importance. Neglecting a vow effectively neglects an oath to God, so in the past it would have been important to nullify any vows you might make. Also in a context of forced conversions and inquisitions, this pre-emptive nullification makes sense. A Jewish man (yes, in the past, this applied exclusively to men) nullifies his future acceptance of Christ as his Lord and savior, and can walk out of his inquisition alive and spiritually intact.

But the prayer has never made sense to me in my contemporary context. I want to affirm my agency. I want to affirm that I can make and keep my promises. Preemptively renouncing my promises, even just the spiritual ones, seems to undermine my credibility more than anything else.

But this year, for the first time, I found a positive meaning in the words of Kol Nidre. This year as I said the words and prayed on behalf of my community, my intention was as such: “I hereby revoke the promises I tacitly make, the social contracts I am entered into without my control, understanding, or consent”.

In my mind, what was I revoking for this year to come?
I was revoking the existing structures of government, of wealth, of exploitation, sexism, racism, classism, and colonialism. Every “ism” that I do not understand, but that I may fall prey to in this coming year, and that may lead to oppressing others.

This intent for Kol Nidre rejects the systems that fail me and my community, and implicitly commits me to educating myself, getting involved, and seeking JUSTICE for myself and those around me.

My community has been energized by this service. Many Jews on the left are out, protesting, advocating for what they feel is just.

At the same time, there has been an outpouring of anger against those of us who have found meaning in expressing our Jewishness as part of OWS, particularly from the Jewish right and traditionally observant. Their critique has merit. They say that Yom Kippur is traditionally a day of introspection, personal transformation. One retreats from the public sphere on Yom Kippur to focus on self betterment, and repairing a personal relationship with the divine. All you need to do is spend a couple hours on Facebook searching comments on Kol Nidre at OWS. You’ll see the split, and the anger from both sides.

As for me, I am amused and excited. On the one hand, I think it’s pretty funny that there are pictures of me wearing my grandfather’s kittel, and a kippa, and davening Kol Nidre all over the internet. As a performer, I spend a lot of time trying to get noticed for other types of performance… it’s funny to see these images get circulated. If you do an image search of my name, you’ll find quite a treasure trove of absurd performance moments and promo shots. And now, add to that, me in a kittel.

And, I’m excited. I keep going back to Occupy Wall Street. I’m excited to see the diversity of the movement growing, and the growing constellation of national and international outposts. I’m excited to see the reactionaries worrying. And I look forward to a year of real change.

(all images above via. and check out the various online incarnations of occupy judaism)

mexican matzo ball soup

by anzya

A friend recently asked if I’d heard of a Jewish Mexican food blog she had come across. I’m now dying to try out this recipe and thought I just had to share my discovery. Also check out this article about the cook, Pati Jinich, from the NYT a couple years back.

redemption

by tobybee

There was a great moment at shul on the first day of Rosh Hashana, when Marci Civins was blowing the shofar. At one point she held her daughter, who is few months old, over her left arm and used her right hand to hold the shofar to her lips. And her daughter didn’t cry, but beautifully listened as her mum, through the shofar, called to all of us present. For so many reasons it was my highlight of what was a truly lovely Rosh Hashana.

In New York this Kol Nidre there will be, it seems, an important service happening down at ‘Occupy Wall Street‘. Daniel Sieradski, founder of Jewschool, is organising it, as he explains:

This Friday night begins Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. On this day, Jews around the world refrain from all physical pleasures (eating, bathing and screwing, to name a few), and devote themselves to prayer and supplication, begging the Lord forgiveness of their sins so that they may be written into the Book of Life.

But is fasting and beating our chests really the best we can do to red…eem ourselves?

As lower Manhattan erupts with thousands of protesters taking a stand against economic injustice, the words of the prophet Isaiah resonate more truthfully and appropriately than ever:

“Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the fetters of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy healing shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee, the glory of the LORD shall be thy rearward.”

Thus rather than spending the holiday safe and warm in our cozy synagogues thinking abstractly about human suffering, perhaps we should truly afflict ourselves and undertake the fast of Isaiah, by joining the demonstrators in Zuccotti Park, and holding our Yom Kippur services there amongst the oppressed, hungry, poor and naked.

Not to be cliché, but as Rabbi Hillel the Elder said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”

I am seeking commitments from at least 20 participants to join — and skilled volunteers to lead — a traditional egalitarian minyan (a Hebrew language, mixed-gender service) this Friday evening at Occupy Wall Street. If you are willing and able to join, please be in touch.

G’mar chatimah tova!

This event has been endorsed by Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) and the Shalom Center.

So if you’re in New York, I reckon you should head along – seems like it will be one of those moments in radical Jewish history… And for those of us not in New York, I think we can take this opportunity to reflect on what it means for us to truly pray for our own, and our communities’, redemption this Yom Kippur. Are these mere words, or what will we do in the year to come to create discursive and material changes in our worlds? How will we make this fast worthy?

*update (7/10): a kol nidre service at Occupy Boston has also been announced. And Jewschool has some more details about the service at Occupy Wall Street.