Author Archives: rabbilarrybach

Preview – Not by Bread Alone – Nalaga’at
I had the opportunity to attend this performance in Tel Aviv last month. Really powerful.

My Heart is in the East…

Next month’s article for the El Paso Jewish Voice — a sneak preview for my blog-readers…

My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west–
How can I find savor in food? How shall it be sweet to me?
How shall I render my vows and my bonds, while yet
Zion lies beneath the fetter of Edom, and I in Arab chains?
A light thing would it seem to me to leave all the good things of Spain–
Seeing how precious in mine eyes to behold the dust of the desolate sanctuary. Continue reading

A Sermon on the Inauguration of Barack Obama

On Tuesday morning, Barack Obama will become the forty-fourth President of the United States of America. In a peaceful transition of power, he will assume the presidency and begin to govern.  Whatever one’s philosophy of government, whatever one’s feeling about the outcome of November’s election, the orderly democratic process is something to celebrate.  For Jews, who’ve spent so much of their history disempowered, marginalized, persecuted and disenfranchized, every Election Day and every Inauguration Day ought to be very nearly yuntef. Continue reading

Kivvunim is making its way into the world

Kivvunim is now available through CD Baby. Just click here to purchase a disc or an mp3 download of the album. Amazon, itunes, etc., are in process — but CD Baby is a really great way to support independent artists (and in this case, youth programming at Temple Mount Sinai), since the vast majority of the money you pay for the music is passed along.

You can also listen to the whole album streaming by clicking below.


The Antidote to Forgetfulness

It’s about five years ago, and I am sitting in a gathering space in my synagogue with a diverse group of leaders from our broad-based community organization, Border Interfaith. We are training in the art of the relational meeting, the “one-to-one” which is the heart of community organizing, and we’re doing it through a “fishbowl” exercise in which a couple of people practice while everyone else watches. Our organizer is in the fishbowl with a man, demonstrating the sort of curiosity that draws people out and gets them to tell their stories. Continue reading

“Smearing Arabs, Smearing Jews” — good analysis

I was impressed with M.J. Rosenberg’s “IPF Friday” piece this week. Since the link on the IPF website looks to be temporary, I’ll quote it in full and then say a bit more at the bottom:

I have been looking to see if the Jewish “defense organizations” put out statements condemning the vicious attacks on Professor Rashid Khalidi, the Palestinian-American academic.

I looked in vain. But then, these Jewish organizations tend not to get overly excited when the targets of bigotry are Palestinian or even Palestinian-American. And some of these organizations themselves play the “guilt by [Palestinian] association” game so they are in no position to criticize it.

Fortunately, the Washington Post (which happens to be a bastion of neo-conservatism) published a terrific editorial today that points out that Khalidi is nothing more, or less, than a respected Palestinian-American academic who holds views that are “unsurprising” although “complex.”

What are those views?  He supports the two-state solution. He opposes terrorism. And he is strongly critical (like at least half of Israel’s population) of the occupation of the West Bank). He is neither anti-Jewish nor anti-Israeli. And he’s an American. Continue reading

A story for Yizkor, with thanks to Rabbi Marder

Smart rabbis know that a good place to start their High Holiday prep is to ask, WDJD — What Did Janet Do? I don’t know if Rabbi Janet Marder was the first rabbi to tell I.B. Singer’s “The Castle” at yizkor time, and to contextualize it, briefly and beautifully, but the sermon archive on her synagogue’s website is where I got the idea. Todah Rabbah, Rabbi Marder.