In honor of Passover, I have revised a post on the Parting of the Sea. which is now on both the Gateway of Wind and the Gateway of the Sea! What is a miracle? How does the story of the Sea parting inspire us to help others and to grow as people? Hopefully there are some good questions here for personal reflection or to discuss at a Passover Seder. Enjoy and Happy Passover!
Also, since I’ve been asked, a reminder that photo credits are visible on hover (or light touch on a smaller device), except for featured images, which are credited at the bottom of each post. I am also gradually linking reposted photos from websites like Flickr back to their original location as possible. Photos by “JHD” are my own. Photos not by me, my family or friends (with their permission) are public domain or Creative Commons License.
Spring is coming, slowly but surely! In honor of springtime and Passover, a big thank you to Rabbi David Zaslow of Ashland, Oregon, for sharing “The Reason for the Season,” from his new book, Reimagining Exodus, in the Gateway of Seasons. He explores how the changing seasons affect our moods, and poses an intriguing question raised by our teacher, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi of blessed memory, about whether the Hebrew calendar and its holidays should be reversed for Jews living in the Southern Hemisphere.
The great German Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig said that we relate to and experience God in three ways: Creation, Revelation, and Redemption. The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh)’s depictions of the Sea encompass all three themes, and add one that he left out: destruction.
Our Hebrew months got their current names in Babylonia over 2500 years ago and are associated with the signs of the Zodaic. Yes, those odd dates listed on your horoscope should be switched out for the Hebrew months, and the signs have resonances in some of the Jewish holidays, for example, Libra/scales and weighing our deeds in the month of Tishrei, which brings Rosh Hashanah. (more…)
אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים יְהִ֤י מְאֹרֹת֙ בִּרְקִ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם לְהַבְדִּ֕יל בֵּ֥ין הַיּ֖וֹם וּבֵ֣ין הַלָּ֑יְלָה וְהָי֤וּ לְאֹתֹת֙ וּלְמ֣וֹעֲדִ֔ים וּלְיָמִ֖ים וְשָׁנִֽים׃
God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate between day and night; and they will serve as signs and seasons, for the days and years.
Seasons are very different in each of the places I have lived. In South Texas, a short spring quickly stretches into a long, hot, heavy summer, followed by a pleasant fall and mild winter. (more…)
by Rabbi David Zaslow
There is an organic flow between all of the Jewish holidays that mirrors the cycles in nature. In the Creation story, we learn that “there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (Gen. 1:5). Jews continue to mark the beginning of the day at sunset—evening—and not at midnight as most of the world does.
Jewish folklore portrays Elijah the Prophet (Eliyahu HaNavi) as a kindly old man who visits our Passover Seder to drink his cup of wine. In the Tanakh/Hebrew Bible, Elijah was known as a zealous champion of monotheism and opponent of idolatry. Since Elijah ascended to heaven without dying, he was viewed as an immortal. In Rabbinic tradition, Elijah was the most popular character, in a new guise of a folk hero who often appeared in disguise to help the poor, rescue people, and convey messages between heaven and earth.