This is the old web site of Rabbi Shai Gluskin which is now on the new server. New Web Site
Fall in Philadelphia -- by Shai
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
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
Israel Poetry for Kids, their
Parents, Friends and Caretakers
The Place Where We Are Right, by Yehuda
Amichai. I first read this poem while visiting
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
Song: How is a Song Born? by
Yonatan Gefen from the CD and book, The Sixteenth
Lamb. Gefen reflects on the creative process through
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.
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
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
Drawing: Joseph by Day
and by Night by Sophia Gluskin-Braun
Mandala by Sophia Gluskin-Braun
The Way of Man
According to the Teaching of Hasidism Material
inspiring for the Yamim Noraim, the High Holy
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
Let Freedom Ring - photo
by Shai Gluskin
Warning Light - photo
by Shai Gluskin
Link to JRF web site