This is the old web site of Rabbi Shai Gluskin which is now on the new server. New Web Site

Omer Counting Journal

Fall in Philadelphia -- by Shai Gluskin

Visit TorahQuest to study from and participate in the evolving 21st Century Torah Commentary. Your commentary may be words or it might be from the plastic arts. At TorahQuest you follow your spark. Learn also how to bring it to a classroom setting.

Israel. At this dark time in Israel I'd like to share some poetry and punditry. For me, art is a good response to darkness. It doesn't try to answer, it simply leaves room for the heart to resonate with human feelings that can never be judged right or wrong. The kids poetry is here because it's fun. The punditry is here because I am amazed and thankful that I can find voices which I find sane in this time of craziness. Most of the articles are by Israeli authors.

Israel Poetry

Israel Poetry for Kids, their Parents, Friends and Caretakers

Israel Punditry


Poem: The Place Where We Are Right, by Yehuda Amichai. I first read this poem while visiting the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem on August 20, 2001. This poem contrasts "love and doubts" with "being right." The one leads to fertility, the other to destruction.

Song: A Home Loving Man, from the Arik Einstein/Miki Gavrielov album by the same name (produced in 1986). I'm moved by the simple desire to live a normal life. I haven't been able to find this album at the typical American internet vendors. I recently bought it at Ben Gurion Airport.

Poems of Alex Lazarus. These are rich poems written from the soul of someone living/visiting Israel/Jerusalem during the first year of the intifada. Alex is a rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

Poem: I'll Be Magnified and Sanctified by Yehuda Amichai. The title of the poem evokes the Kaddish prayer (May God by Magnifed and Sanctified), used in Judaism by mourners to praise the divine. It is also used as a segue between different parts of a Jewish prayer service. Here the poet imagines God's desire for sanctification through ever-increasing circles of empathy.

Song: One Drop at a Time, from the Arik Einstein/Miki Gavrielov album A Home Loving Man. This song inludes a series of negative statements about everything the poet doesn't want to do. It is punctuated with a refrain expressing the poet's desire to "add one drop at a time." In a time when it is difficult to know exactly what to do, I found this song comforting.


Israel: Kid's Poetry from Israel

Song: How is a Song Born? by Yonatan Gefen from the CD and book, The Sixteenth Lamb. Gefen reflects on the creative process through humor.

Poem: The New Battery Powered Car by Yehuda Atlas from from his book, This Child is Also Me. The child's toys are second rate compared to the stuff in his Dad's toolbox.

Song: Shabbat Ba'boker/Saturday Morning from Arik Einstein and Yoni Richter's children's album, When I Was a Kid. It is a jazzy tune celebrating the simple joys of a day of rest.

Poem: Don't Explain to Me by Yehuda Atlas. The author relates extremely well to the plight of both parents and children, thereby pleasing both.



The Lorax and Deuteronomy by Shai Gluskin

Drawing: Joseph by Day and by Night by Sophia Gluskin-Braun

Drawing: Hanukkah Mandala by Sophia Gluskin-Braun

The Way of Man According to the Teaching of Hasidism Material inspiring for the Yamim Noraim, the High Holy Days.

Photo: The Joy of Collaboration. From the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation's August, 2001 Educators' mission to Israel .

Photo: Jewish Planes by Wendy Marx

Photo Lesson: Use evocative photo of an Israeli flag hanging over a street sign where Arabic has been crossed out. Discussion questions and background provided to spark discussion aimed at getting teens and adults to think about flags, language, democracy and competing nationalities.

Swim On - photo by Shai Gluskin

Let Freedom Ring - photo by Shai Gluskin

Warning Light - photo by Shai Gluskin

Link to JRF web site