"Recalling the Covenant"--an Important New Torah Commentary

Would you like to study Torah with a Rabbi who has mastery over the text, depth of understanding, and breadth of knowledge? Do you want a teacher who not only is steeped in classic rabbinic interpretation, but who is aware of and sensitive to the literary features of the text, the relationships of Torah narratives with ancient stories of the Near East, insights of modern biblical scholarship?

All of us should want such a Rabbi and Teacher of Torah.

We have such a Rabbi and Teacher of Torah: Rabbi Moshe Shamah.

For Tal


A fellow art student—we’ll call him Tal—once described to me how it felt to wear a skirt for the first time—jubilant, liberated, correct, and uncomfortable. The skirt exposed a deep truth; but even as he felt whole, wearing a skirt meant sacrificing the convenient comportment he had once used as a shield. Since he had always been an unassuming person, the stares took some getting used to. Tal worried that wearing a skirt was overly flamboyant; he didn’t want to be a drag queen, he just wanted to be a gay man who wore a skirt. His conclusion, and I have thought of this often, was that joyously idiosyncratic behavior is almost always viewed as extravagant, whether it presents as a man wearing a skirt or a woman wearing a headscarf.

Arbeit Macht Frei

I cannot sing this place.

I stand on ash, balance
on the platform. The audience of ten
faces, hollow and ghostly, urges—
Try not to fall into those earthen jaws,
moats of dust mixed with rain.
Looking into the deep troughs, dizzy
from time-induced nausea, I think
of that lullaby, Sleep, sleep,
one day you will have raisins and almonds.

I try to make a song here.

The air drips with inky streaks,
bus fumes and burnt hair.
Charred scrawls on the station
wall condemn me to death,
Stars of David replace Xs, cross
out hearts, point to the letters in Polish,
need no translation: Gas the Jews.
I want to scream old songs, erase
these coal marks that smudge, but do not fade.

My voice is no vandal.

One small voice: I hate
the green narrow barracks

Maimonides: Essential Teachings on Jewish Faith and Ethics--a New Book by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

Rabbi Marc D. Angel has come out with a new book, published by Skylight Illuminations, a division of Jewish Lights Publishers. Entitled: "Maimonides: Essential Teachings on Jewish Faith and Ethics," the book includes an introduction to Maimonides' religious philosophy; an English translation of most of Maimonides' Book of Knowledge and his 13 Principles of Faith; and a running commentary by Rabbi Angel. This book allows the reader not only to learn about Maimonides, but to study his essential teachings in his own words (translated into English).

The book is available through the online store at Bulk rates are available by contacting [email protected] The book is valuable not only for personal study, but for group discussions and adult education classes.

New Family?

Together with some friends, I’ve established an organization called KayamaMoms. I’m religious, 40 years old and unmarried and I would like to have children. Like me, there are thousands of women in Israel and the rest of the world who have dreamed their entire lives about having a family but unfortunately have not yet found the right partner.