30 November, 2006

You’re getting married??

Filed under: General by Joel @ 11:36 pm, 30 November 2006.

I heard on the weekend about another couple getting engaged. Another (religious) couple with one partner from the yeargroup below me at my high school, Moriah. I had been commenting for a while that the difference between their grade and mine is drastic: as far as I know, while there is at least one in our year (class of 01) with a baby girl, there are none (or maybe one) who have been engaged or married. (more…)

21 November, 2006

Sung with conviction

Filed under: Montreal,Music,Religion by Joel @ 11:57 am, 21 November 2006.

One of the first things I did when I got to McGill was find out what singing groups I could join. After all, I had decided a couple of years ago that 2006 would be the year for singing: having been involved in Hineni, people would ask me (mostly after synagogue), “so what are you doing with that voice of yours Joel?” and I replied, “too busy… after Hineni”. So this year was set aside for singing. I led a lot more services in synagogue than ever before, got a couple of paid jobs as a chazzan, and joined two choirs in Sydney: the Sydney Jewish Choral Society (finally capitulating to Warren), and the Madrigal Society (under the leadership of Anthony who I encountered regularly, although he gave me no pressure to join). I enjoyed them a lot. I was even a little surprised to do so. (more…)

16 November, 2006

The choice

Filed under: Montreal by Joel @ 5:56 pm, 16 November 2006.

I have a decision to make. I have confirmed that it is technically possible for me to stay in Montreal for another semester. After all, four months studying here is not so long to take in the opportunities of the area (seeing Montreal, Canada, North-Eastern America), and staying longer will let me see more, do more, solidify relationships, yield to people’s cries not to go so soon, and do the other half of a fascinating course in the History of Jewish Bible Interpretation… And now is the only time I can do it. (more…)

15 November, 2006

Loving difference and hating indifference

Filed under: Judaism,Montreal,Society and culture,Tanakh by Joel @ 2:53 am, 15 November 2006.

Eli Wiesel flyerOne advantage of being in North America is that it doesn’t cost inordinate sums of money to bring famous intellectuals to speak to an audience. So while the Jewish community finds itself with one esteemed guest after another here, and I heard from Adin Steinsaltz a couple of weeks ago (he came to Sydney last year but I missed him), tonight I had the opportunity to hear Elie Wiesel speak. The holocaust survivor, acclaimed author, social activist, Boston University professor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate lectured and took questions on the topic of “Building a moral society: the urgency of hope”. (more…)

9 November, 2006

Hello Ian!

Filed under: Montreal by Joel @ 6:53 pm, 9 November 2006.

A couple of weeks ago (yes, this post is late) Keren for the first time experienced a real party for All Hallows Eve. Invited by a British exchange student and, although in Sydney, found herself surrounded only by foreigners in much more elaborate dress (after all, she also has Purim to dress up on) and pumpkins cut like from a cartoon. Halloween’s simply not a big deal in Australia, and you don’t realise what you’re missing, or not. (more…)

3 November, 2006

Deluge and peace: the dove, the olive, the rainbow

Filed under: Music,Semiotics,Society and culture,Tanakh by Joel @ 4:37 pm, 3 November 2006.

According to an article forwarded to me by my USyd teacher Shani Berrin, excavations in Israel’s north (at Allone Abba) have recently uncovered a stone seal engraved with an image of a bird and an olive branch. It was found within an olive press used during the Hellenistic and Roman periods (4th-1st century BCE), and while its purpose and meaning have not been identified, it is a beautiful reminder of last week’s torah reading.

Shani had sent me this article in response to my asking: Where do these symbols of peace come from? Is the origin within the biblical story of Noah? Is their adoption much earlier, or much later? (more…)

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