Words of the Week: Sarah Wildman

“As a child, I tuned out the more awful potentials of the [Unetaneh Tokef] prayer’s plaintive cry — and there are many, and they are terrible, assigning an agency to God I find uncomfortable at best. Instead I was drawn to the sentences that enjoy less notoriety than the others: ‘Who shall be at rest and who shall wander,’ the poem asks. In Hebrew, that sentence is a play on words, a single letter altering the meaning from ‘rest’ (yanuach) to ‘wander’ (yanuah). It goes on: ‘Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued? Who will be calm and who will be tormented?’ To be forced to wander another week, another month, another year is physical and also spiritual, literal and also emotional. In almost three years of cancer and pandemic, I have wondered how my family can find rest as we wander. It has been, and continues to be, I think, in these small in-between moments, in the noticing.”

Source: Sarah Wildman, “I Don’t Need My Life to Be Remarkable” (The New York Times)

Words of the Week: Jeffrey Salkin

“My friends and I want a better Israel.

Not the BDS movement. It wants no Israel — certainly not a Jewish sovereign state. It persists in targeting pro-Israel Jews, (i.e., the vast majority of American Jewry and their institutions). It demands that Israel do what no other country in the world is asked to do — to self-immolate because of its problems.”

Source: Jeffrey Salkin, “You Support BDS? I’m Quitting Your Fan Club!” (Religion News Service)

Words (and an Image) of the Week: Amy Neiwirth

Against a background that features pomegranates, the words "Fall Jewish Holidays" appear, along with the dates for Rosh Hashanah, Yom, Kippur, Sukkot, and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah and notes for observances for each.
A creation by Amy Neiwirth, @art.with.ms.n on Instagram, where the accompanying text reads: “Fall is around the corner and so are a whole bunch of Jewish holidays! Please keep these dates on your radar when scheduling meetings, conferences, important events, etc. in September & October.
Jewish folks observe these holidays in a variety of ways, and those who have to schedule time off on some or all of these days will very much appreciate an understanding, helpful, and proactive approach.” Shared with permission.

Note: For another (text-centric) way of finding these holidays and notes about their observances, including work prohibitions, visit Hebcal.com/holidays.

Words of the Week

“The world has overlooked an important episode in modern history: the 800,000 Jews who left or were driven from their homes in Arab nations and Iran in the mid-20th century to forge new lives for themselves and future generations. The Forgotten Exodus, a new limited podcast series brought to you by American Jewish Committee (AJC), explores the lessons we can learn from this pivotal moment of Jewish history. The series delves into the rich, yet little-known heritage of Jews from Arab nations, as some of those countries normalize relations with Israel, and the moving stories of courage, resilience, and reconciliation that illustrate how Jews in the Middle East and North Africa overcame tremendous challenges.”