Tag Archives: Bible

Sacred Study Saturdays, Torah Portion Judges, or Shoftim, and Community

Parashat Shoftim / פרשת שׁוֹפְטִים

Read in the Diaspora on 14 August 2021 (6 Elul 5781). 

   Please accept my apologies as I am not feeling well this week, so the next few days posts will be rather brief.

I taught a class on Parashat Shoftim and Community with a follow up on  this the next year in last week’s parashah at the DC Beit Midrash, some years ago. 

Given the fact that one is not allowed to live in a place with no court, we are all part of a society in which a system of justice must be looked after.  The existing justice system must become more fully inclusive for all of us.

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to this week’s section of the Bible, or, if you prefer, to the Holocene Epoch and to the Holocene Calendar.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how a calendar based on the Holocene Epoch might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses an alternate calendar, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:  Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC

Vote, Teach and Learn (PDF Lesson Plans offline)

and
my Babylon 5 review posts, if you like Science Fiction,
and
a proposed Vision on Wondering Wednesdays: for a kinder world…
   

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil

our year 2021 CE =  12021 HE

(Lesson plans:  Day 1Day 5)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free copies at: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.  We’d love to hear about your review here, too, if you do!

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

StayedOnFreedomsCallGoodReads

Thoughtful Thursdays, Stayed on Freedom with the Call of Freedom, and Alliances

Mutual problems, mutual aid.

So, how do we each help our society to become more fully inclusive for all of us, and to respond to the human need for aid, to all of us?

I believe that attention to shared histories of cooperation may provide part of an answer.  I started a note about that, a few years ago, in my book Stayed on Freedom’s Call:

“…burdens while being subject to rather different cultural and ethnic constraints, it
seems only natural that alliances would form between the two communities to
facilitate resistance to their mutual oppression. Such alliances would inspire
communities to cooperate to make positive changes for the benefit of all
citizens. And cooperate they did, both in private and in public….

 

Page 15″

So, it turns out that I might have needed to explain a bit more about that shared oppression mentioned on this page.  Some fresh reviews would help me decide that specific.

Page fouteen was last week…

Action Items:

1.) What are your thoughts on shared humanity as a mandate for alliances?

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how continuing empathy-building cooperation might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this

GoodReads button: Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC,  Vote, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plan Book):

 

Peace     ! שָׁלוֹם

Shira Destinie

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

(The last GED lesson 67/67 , and the first lesson 1/67…), and

Babylon 5 review posts, and

Baby Acres: a Vision of a Better World (posts listed at bottom of page…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Thoughtful Thursdays, Stayed on Freedom with the Call of Freedom, and Parashat Re’eh

Biblical calls to action form part of our society’s foundation, at least in theory.  

So, how do we each help our society to become more fully inclusive for all of us, and to respond to the call for justice?

I believe that attention to shared histories of oppression may provide part of an answer.  I started a note about that, a few years ago, in my book Stayed on Freedom’s Call:

“…to the congregation. You shall not oppress the runaway slave, let alone return
him to his cruel master. So what, then, could you make of the growing tensions
over the Fugitive Slave Act, now nearly ten years in effect across the country,
including in slave-holding Washington City and County? The slave trade had
been banished in the Capital, but replaced with something perhaps worse. That
Biblical mandate for freedom must have led many in the Jewish community to
wonder what they could do, particularly given the history of persecution of Jews
even in the United States moving forward as late as 1884 with the lynching of
Leo Max Frank. Thus, shared histories led to cooperation between the two
communities in a variety of ways, at first private, and later more public. The
Jewish community grew in Washington, DC, opening shops and businesses,
mingling with working class families, colored and white, of pre-Urban Renewal
SW. With the Navy Yard as one of the very few employers in the city willing to
hire based on ability alone, both communities faced difficulty in finding jobs
and housing. The new railroad and streetcar suburbs of the 1880s and turn of
the 20 th century, advertising to “the better classes,” frequently employed racially
restrictive housing covenants barring both Jews and Negroes. These shared
burdens, combined with the complementing religious and labor roles of the two
communities, threw their lots together while preventing the rivalries seen
between colored and Irish workers, whose competition for jobs certainly
contributed to the Snow Riots of 1835, the city’s first race riot. Having similar  …

 

Page 14″

So, it turns out that I might have needed to explain a bit more about some of the events, oh, and not left it up to the reader to go look up Parashat Re’eh, mentioned on this page.  Some fresh reviews would help me decide that specific.

Page thirteen was last week…

Action Items:

1.) What are your thoughts on shared oppression as a mandate for cultural cooperation?

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how continuing empathy-building cooperation might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this

GoodReads button: Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DCVote, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plan Book):

 

Peace     ! שָׁלוֹם

Shira Destinie

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

(The last GED lesson 67/67 , and the first lesson 1/67…), and

Babylon 5 review posts, and

Baby Acres: a Vision of a Better World (posts listed at bottom of page…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Weeks, Languages, Loans, Aladdin, and Elisha? — Critical thinking for Human Community

This year, I found a profound article with no dairy food, but plenty of brain food, for thought…

As we come up, tonight, to the holiday of שָׁבוּעוֹת Shavuot, for the seven weeks, or 50 days counted down between Passover and Shavuot, we naturally think of the pleasures of staying up all night long to study languages, er, em, that is, to study Torah, in our Biblical languages of Hebrew and sometimes also Aramaic, […]

Weeks, Languages, Loans, Aladdin, and Elisha? — Critical thinking for Human Community

Wonderful Wednesdays, Noisy Holidays, and Hide me in a Library

The common good, or the general welfare, ear plugs and upcoming noisy holidays each merit mention now, since it will soon be Erev Purim, or the night before the noisiest holiday on the Jewish calendar, aka the Jewish Halloween, but not like the Day of the Dead.  More like the costume party of the year, with noise-makers.

Ok, Purim schpiels, the Book of Esther, sometimes complete with macrame tree upon which to impale an image of Haman, twice, if you happen to be the one reading Chapter 7, more kids running amok in costumes, and all of this in a non-Rated R format, at least for the night of Purim.  The morning Megillah reading is more staid, less noisy, and easier to hear the laugh when the reader impales Haman.    Yes, that was a relief.

Did I mention that society, and ear plugs, must become more fully inclusive for all of us?

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources of ear plugs.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how researching on your own about the holiday of Purim, and the Book of Esther, might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses a kid-friendly costume party, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    and     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

February, 2021 CE = February 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 14/67 published since this post, and the most recent lesson 15/67…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Sacred Study Saturdays, Aaron as Watson Reparation, and extended Adulting

The common good, or the general welfare, requires that Adults see the need for restitution, or other kinds of reparation to restore trust,  as earlier generations saw in the book of Exodus.  Those two types of repairing go hand in hand with our need, today, to become a more fully inclusive society.

The first reparation happens in last week’s traditional cycle Torah reading.  This week’s parashah (Torah reading) continues with Aaron and Moses dealing with Pharaoh, and with the enslaved People of Israel.  Last week’s parashah, VaEra, however, started by repairing one problem:  Moses’ privilege.   It dealt with Moses’ attempt to refuse on the grounds of slowness of speech, yet one article argues that that slowness may have been all in his mind, kind of an inverse to Sherlock Holmes’ concern about arrogance: his own.  Both men see potential flaws in themselves, and both seek responses.  Moses gets it in his brother Aaron, who has grown up as a slave, unlike Moses’ palace upbringing.  Sherlock Holmes gets his remediation in-waiting by asking Dr. Watson to be a brake on any perceived arrogance via a one word reminder of his (imho) most beautiful story, Yellow Face: “Norbury.”

The second repair is made this week, in Parashat Bo.   Reparations for 400 years of enslavement by the Egyptians:

דַּבֶּר־נָ֖א בְּאָזְנֵ֣י הָעָ֑ם וְיִשְׁאֲל֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ ׀ מֵאֵ֣ת רֵעֵ֗הוּ וְאִשָּׁה֙ מֵאֵ֣ת רְעוּתָ֔הּ כְּלֵי־כֶ֖סֶף וּכְלֵ֥י זָהָֽב׃

Tell the people to borrow, each man from his neighbor and each woman from hers, objects of silver and gold.”

 

These reparations happened in cash, so to speak, but there are other ways to repair generational damage, such as scholarships, acknowledgement of the truth of systemic wrongs, help with finding family history, free tutoring, etc, and creation of a floor on poverty for all, which in effect helps most those who have historically been wronged the most.  Such a safety net in the long run helps us all.

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to the concept of restitution

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how a study of restitution might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses your thoughts, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson 20/67 published since this post, and the most recent lesson 21/67…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Thoughtful Thursdays, From the Depths on a New Moon, and self-Health Care

On the 14th (but starting last night, on the 13th at sundown), began the new month, and the month of Rosh Chodesh Sh’vat, on the Jewish calendar.  Months on the Hebrew calendar begin on the new moon, and this day is traditionally a women’s half-holiday, with no housework being done, in theory, by women on that day.  How I wish that every day would become a day of recognition for women, and for all of those who labour for the benefit of us all.  Our society must come to recognize the work that all people do, to care for others, to keep a safe and clean environment for our families and communities, and our society must become more fully inclusive for all of us.

later update:  Oops!  I forgot to connect those dots: this Psalm is one of those sung as part of Hallel, which is chanted and sung in the morning service of Rosh Chodesh, and most other full holidays. 

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources showing the Psalm that contains the words “from the depths,” or “Min haMetzar” ( מין המצר ). 

2.) Share your interpretation of those words with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how we can help build a more inclusive world, and more inclusive thinking, in our society, please, and then,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses those thoughts, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

partly scheduled in December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson published since this post, and the most recent lesson (41…)…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Sacred Study Saturdays, TV shows for Torah reading, and Adulting Ed.

Part of Adulting, which is part of Phase I of the Four Freedoms movement, is learning how one learns best independently, both to keep learning, and to help others to learn.  I learned that some of my favorite science fiction shows can help me learning the difficult names found in the Torah!  🙂

2012-12-02
Star Trek and B5 helped my Torah Chanting, come discuss more SF and ethical values, bring a TV!  Yesterday’s portion had lots of names in it, which I found easier to learn, I argue, because of my experience with words and names in Klingon, and then in Narn and Minbari!  Who says Science Fiction is not practical? 🙂
Kashering Party immediately upon move-in,  kitchen will be kosher pareve-dairy (milchigs …) : I use soy milk.
First Babylon 5 party to be held on the first Sunday in January, provided a TV arrives before then!
Peace,

So, it turns out that there was not enough interest in Bablyon 5 among my friends for the party to happen, but I did get some lively comments on how Star Trek and B5 helped my leyning! 

Action Items in support of learning:

1.) Tell us your favorite TV show,

2.) Share with us how it has helped you learn something important.

3.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses that learning method, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, if you wrote a book, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

    ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Dinah

This week’s Parashah has been VaYishlach: And He Sent (messengers to his brother Esav…).

 

The 5th aliyah/reading of the Annual cycle makes up much of this year’s Triennial Cycle reading, and that is mostly the story of Dinah.  She went out to socialize with other girls, and got brutally assaulted.  I have one comment -it’s based on Listening to my Heart:

her brothers, Shimon and Levi (from the words for to listen, and my heart), should have given Dinah a sword to let her deal with Shechem as he deserved. 

In fact, who knows: maybe they did.

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

And he left! -and why we sometimes must leave…

…because for safety’s sake, sometimes, one has to leave, well, almost everything…

This week’s portion is Parashat Vayetzei / פרשת וַיֵּצֵא traditionally covering Genesis 28:10-32:3, and this year’s Triennial cycle covers readings Revi’i & Chamishi (4th and 5th readings of the Annual Cycle ). It’s the famous Stairway to Heaven parashah, but many of us read that part last year.

Parashat Vayetzei 5781 / פרשת וַיֵּצֵא
Triennial – year 2
  1. 1: 30:14-16
  2. 2: 30:17-21
  3. 3: 30:22-27
  4. 4: 30:28-36
  5. 5: 30:37-43
  6. 6: 31:1-9
  7. 7: 31:10-16
  8. maftir: maf: 32:1-3 (3 p’sukim)

I think I can sum these two aliyot (readings) up in two words: family feuds.

The 4th aliyah has Rachel and Leah competing in the womb wars, jealous of one another, explaining the names of the boys, but just naming poor Dinah, full stop.

Then, after a few spotted sheep, Rachel and Leah’s entire family seems to be jealous of them, or rather, of their husband.  And they feel like outsiders to their family, and to each other.  The commentators say that they felt sold  to Jacob by their father Laban.

So, it was time for Jacob to leave: with his wives and kids.    So, he decided, after discussion with his wives, and a dream confirming that it was a good idea, to get going.

Leaving often does not go over well with a bully who wants your time/labour/resources/honor for his own.

We see what happens next, next year…

Shabbat Shalom     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items:

1.) Consider your times when you may have had to leave a potentially dangerous domestic situation, or just had to leave the place you’d lived for twenty years.

2.) Share your thoughts about them with us in the comments, here, if you wish.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)