First Person

Sof History Project:

Excerpts from the Preface to the Appendix of the Sof History Project

By Mathew Sgan

Sof Ma'arav Appendix

During the course of doing the research for the narrative (Honey and Poi) describing the origins and development of Congregation Sof Ma’arav, I was fortunate… Continue reading

From Rabbi Rosalind Glazer

A Letter to Sof Ma’arav

I’ve thought of you often while sheltering in place and I dearly hope you have been well. From my home in Jerusalem, I marvel at the inextricable bond between our hearts across 13 time zones… Continue reading

Just Being There

By Sandra Z. Armstrong

Purple and white flowers

Sometimes you can’t do enough to help another person in distress—whether it is a family member, friend, neighbor, or stranger. Fretful thoughts intrude. Should I do more? Why do my efforts seem so futile? Will my… Continue reading

Synergy:

Finding the biology in the book of Genesis

By Malka Rappaport

Synergy Podcast cover

David and Malka have started a podcast on the intersection of biology and our beloved Torah text! Western society seems to suffer from the idea that science and… Continue reading

5780 Passover Seders: Tradition and Technology

By Mathew Sgan

 This is a photo of an exhibit at the Diaspora Museum, Tel Aviv - en:Beit Hatefutsot. The exhibit note says "Double page of a "Daiyyeinu" from the Birds' Head Haggada manuscript, South Germany. c.1300. Facsimile, Jerusalem, Israel Museum"

Isolation during Passover was on my mind. Then the heavens opened up and it was Dayenu all over again. First, Dina gave me the directions to tune in to her seder (Hawaii time 7:00 PM.) To celebrate… Continue reading

Parshat Tzav: A Drash

By Sid Goldstein

A haggadah with a blue hamsa

“Such are the rituals of the burnt offering, the meal offering, the guilt offering, the offering of ordination and the sacrifice of well-being which the Lord charged Moses on Mount Sinai.”

–  Leviticus 8.37

One of… Continue reading

An Embarrassment to Jews the World Over

by Kay Lorraine

Image of a music sheet on piano keys

I am an embarrassment to Jews the world over. I know this to be true, because a cantor in Chicago made this statement in my presence, loudly, to a large group of Jewish women.

Let me explain:… Continue reading

Memories of a Neurosurgeon: Book Review of Judith’s Pavilion: The Haunting Memories of a Neurosurgeon, by Dr. Marc Flitter

BY MAT SGAN

As I sat on the UU Church bench, Marc went to his car and emerged with a copy of the subject book, which he handed to me. I was delighted to receive it. I take such pleasure… Continue reading

The Song of the Jade Lily: A Book Review

BY SID GOLDSTEIN


The novel, The Song of the Jade Lily, by Kirsty Manning deals with the little-known subject of the lives of Jewish refugees in Shanghai China during world War II. It is based on the historical fact that… Continue reading

T”U B’Shevat Seder at Sof: Learning as We Go

BY DINA YOSHIMI

Each year shortly after we enter the month of Shevat, the e-call for contributions to the T”U B’Shevat seder goes out. It’s the annual sign-up ritual when Sofers send in their top 3 choices for a contribution… Continue reading