Showing posts from April, 2011


Since I don’t ‘even’ have any idea what the actual Torah Portion was last week, partially because I was sick all week long and didn’t go to Shul on Shabbat (like a bad boy) and partially because the whole Jewish thing is all new to me, I am going to skip the ‘actual’ parsha for this week, seeing as I wrote a nice little ditty last week on Kedoshim (Leviticus 19-20), and move right into something else that I have been thinking about; namely, ‘The Generation of the Desert.’ This is the generation of Israelites that, because of the spies that gave a false report when scouting the land, had to wander around and then die in the desert, never to set foot in Israel. Seems harsh, doesn’t it? I have been identifying with this idea recently from the struggle of just getting along here in the Promised Land. Now don’t get me wrong; it is absolutely amazing here on so many levels... It’s just that little things like language, culture, religion, work, schooling for the kids, and just plain communica

Birth in the Desert

On Friday morning last week, my son Zach called. He had been engaged in a weeklong battle to become the best of the best in the IDF. This is a powerful test in which a young man becomes more than a man, he becomes a leader of men, and to do this, he first needed to find himself. He tells us that it was a struggle that spanned the width and breadth of his entire being. He was tested to such limits that the inevitable opening occurred, a small beam of light penetrated from the keyhole of his inner being. He stood face to face with his soul. He had nobody but himself and his connection to the Creator to rely on. In that moment, when the walls of superficiality and false ego-driven fecundity were evaporated into dust and nothingness, Zach flipped a switch in his mind and briefly knew who he was, or more so, what he was capable of. This, my friends, is the perfect segue into not only this week’s parsha, Kedoshim (Leviticus 19-20), but Pesach (Passover) as well. When Zach was born, I remembe

Technical Difficulties and Flying Hairy Goats

Last week, when I was struggling to get the latest blog entry posted, I tried everything I could think of to get the stupid paragraph breaks to happen. I copied the thing over and over from the Word document that I had been steadily adding to over the week, first the whole thing, then just each paragraph, then editing it in Blogspot, then doing it all over again… oy! In general, I try to get each blog entry out onto the ‘net-waves’ by Thursday evening (here in Israel), so that the latest and greatest blog-entry will arrive before Shabbat, even as far away as Japan, which by the way (and inexplicably so), has the third highest Brave New Land enthusiasts statistics behind the US and Israel. They are even pretty far out in front of Canada and Germany, who also hold a high place in the stats. Anyways, it was so frustrating that in the end, I just posted it along with a ‘disclaimer’ (through certain venues) stating that I was experiencing technical difficulties. That, my friends, was a


In the Hebrew language and in Judaism itself, the number 13 is quite significant, as opposed to what seems like the rest of the world, which considers it unlucky at best. When I was a wee tot, way back on the 2nd of the Jewish month of Cheshvan, somewhere around the month of October in the Jewish year of 5736, I would have been barmitzvahed on the week of my 13th birthday… if I had actually been born Jewish. I can’t remember what I was doing then, but most likely I was in my home town of Laguna Beach, California shredding a 13 foot home grown half-pipe on my skateboard. I was definitely not reciting my barmitzvah parsha, Noah (Genesis 6:9-11:32), on the bema in front of my entire community. Maybe one of these days I will try to make up for lost time and try to spill out the parsha on the bema here in Israel. I don’t know... It is a really big commitment. In Judaism, when a boy turns 13, he is responsible for himself spiritually. My son Zach’s birthday was this week and I can still