Mathieu-André Reichert – Brazilian Flute Maestro

Reading Time: 2 minutes I continue to return to my daily routine. Today I am thinking about and paying homage to Mathieu-André Reichert, whom you’ve probably never heard of unless you play the flute. His story was interesting and, as such stories go, also tragic (at the end, at least). Born in 1830 in Belgium, he was a flute […]

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Reflections and Gratitude on My Birthday

Reading Time: 5 minutes There was a time in my life when my birthday meant gifts, a party, special food, a cake, and hopefully some fun. Now? I don’t need gifts, parties don’t seem as important as they once did, and I’ve limited my diet to the point that I can eliminate at least 80 to 90% of whatever […]

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Bossa Shabbat

Reading Time: 3 minutes Bossa Shabbat – A New Sabbath Service in Song I’d like to bring you up-to-date on what has happened since Bossa Shabbat had its premiere on January 24, 2014: The Bossa Shabbat Friday night Sabbath service is now available to everyone: cantors, choirs, congregations, singers, and song leaders, as well as jazz and Bossa Nova aficionados—everyone who loves Shabbat […]

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I’ve Joined the Flute Section

Reading Time: 6 minutes I Am Now Playing Flute in the Urquhart Memorial Concert Band This all started because I mentioned to my friend, Andrew Cohen, that I had started playing the flute. “You should join the Urquhart Band. You’ll really enjoy it!” Andrew, a polyglot, a professor emeritus, and a trumpet player who at one time performed in […]

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A Bloody Chapter

Reading Time: 8 minutes ACHACREI MOT – A BLOODY CHAPTER My first trip to Europe was many years ago, but I can still vividly recall two things from those ten days in Spain. The first was my attempt to speak Spanish to the Spaniards. On one occasion this resulted in me thanking a man who wanted to help with […]

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Korach’s Rebellion

Reading Time: 6 minutes Korach’s Rebellion – Not a Well-known Bible Story A story is told about three synagogues that are located on a street in a contemporary, mid-sized city—an Orthodox schul, a Conservative Temple, and a Reform congregation. For a variety of reasons, all three become infested with mice. The question of how best to handle this rodent […]

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Sanctuary: The Cities of Refuge

Reading Time: 9 minutes The Cities of Refuge: Involuntary Manslaughter, Blood-vengeance, and the Concept of Sanctuary You’ve certainly heard this old story: One day an elderly man collapses on a sidewalk near Hollywood, and a crowd quickly gathers around him. The fallen man’s wife calls out frantically, “Is anyone here a doctor?” A tall, well-dressed man steps through the crowd, […]

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Women’s Rights in the Torah

Reading Time: 9 minutes The Daughters of Zelophehad Years ago, when I first heard the story of the Daughters of Zelophehad, my immediate thought was, “Why have I never heard of this before?” Because it certainly appeared to be a well-kept secret! The story—from the book of Numbers —is simple enough: The five daughters of Zelophehad…came forward. They stood […]

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