Monday, August 28, 2006

Two Heads of Lettuce!

(crossposted to Jewschool)

Two Heads of Lettuce is the latest blog that is poised to take the independent Jewish scene by storm. You’ve all been to a potluck Shabbat meal when you didn’t have time to make anything complicated, so you picked up a bag of pita. Two Heads of Lettuce is a forum to share simple recipes for vegetarian potlucks, so that we’re eating more than just pita!

EAR explains why this matters:

In potlucks, I see the potential expression of all sorts of Jewish and progressive values, including those of living in community, hachnasat orechim (hospitality), and—done thoughtfully—bal tashchit (preventing waste). Potlucks can enable a widely diverse group of people to eat and celebrate together, and in the process to build strong communal and personal ties. Potlucks also allow those of us with busy lives to celebrate Shabbat, holidays, and lifecycle events in community without having to cook and host full meals all by ourselves. In addition, potlucks keep Jewish life affordable. Rather than paying $25 a person for a bad catered meal, as so many organizations and synagogues request of us, we can provide our own delicious and healthy food for a fraction of the price.

The blog’s name derives from a recipe found in the first Jewish Catalog:

SALAD (for 25 people)
2 heads lettuce
5 or 6 tomatoes
3 cucumbers
3 peppers

As Two Heads of Lettuce’s introductory manifesto explains, this shows that the independent Jewish scene of 2006 is similar to the scene of the 1970s, yet so so different, necessitating this blog.

In addition to all the recipes that have been and will be posted, EAR has written an indispensable Guide to Delicious, Sustainable, Efficient, and Pluralistic Potlucks. Happy cooking and eating!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

את הגלויים לנו ואת שאינם גלויים לנו

We've all, at one time or another, thought about the two goats of Yom Kippur and their entangled state in the context of the EPR paradox. But we haven't all written something as brilliant as this letter from Einstein to Podolsky, ghostwritten by D'yo Ilu Yamey.

Highlight: "the wave ('tenufah') function"

Homey don't play that

Back in May, Mah Rabu reported on a brewing minyan war in Philadelphia. We have received a clarification and update from one of the organizers:

Dear mahrabu,

After googling the group I started in Philly, B'Merkaz, I stumbled across your blog where you mentioned the "minyan war" in Philly, which made me laugh. Anyway, I thought I'd set the record straight and maybe have you post our info on your next blog??? Shortly after finding out that there was already Minyan Merkaz, those of us in B'Merkaz quickly voted and adopted a new name: Heymish (the Yiddish word for homey and intimate) to reflect the fact that we are a small group that meets in people's homes. Like Minyan Merkaz, we're egalitarian traditional, but also market ourselves as proudly queer-friendly (and are happily attracting many Jewish gays and lesbians who don't identify with Reform Judaism). Things are very amicable between Heymish and Minyan Merkaz. They've come to us and I go to them (I've even led services for them). For anyone who wants to learn more about us or get on our list, we have a Yahoo Group which is

Warren Hoffman

And they all lived happily ever after.

Lift high your lamp, Gray Lady

This is the greatest day of my life!!!

After at least 10 unsuccessful attempts, I've finally gotten a letter published in the New York Times! (It's the second one on the page.) Here's the original article that it's responding to, about the unrepresentative (and worsening) demographics in New York City's specialized high schools.

UPDATE: I've been cited in Gothamist. Not as exciting as the Times, of course, but still cool.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Rosh Chodesh Elul

This Friday morning, 1 Elul 5766, there will be an apartment minyan convened in the City, County, and State of New York, in celebration of the new month. Email for details.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Institute blog roundup

I just got back from the National Havurah Committee Summer Institute, where I spent a week of learning and teaching with 300 of my closest friends from across the continent. I was too busy running the thing to blog during the week, so instead here's a roundup of posts around the blogosphere about the Institute:

And I'm sure there will be lots more in the next few days, as people get home and write their reflections on the week. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, this latest comment on "Profile of an 'Unaffiliated' Jew" is a great reminder of why we're doing what we're doing. I continue to maintain that I am having a greater impact on Jewish life in Minnesota by doing my thing here in New York than I would have if I moved to Minnesota (or fill in non-NY location).

UPDATE: Here's the rest of the story from ZT.

UPDATE 2: Neil connects Talmud texts studied at Institute to the political situation in Connecticut. Red Queen Day calls the Institute an earworm farm, and Ruby K shares a poem from Friday night's poetry reading.

UPDATE 3: A report from Desh. "...things might just explode..."

Friday, August 04, 2006


I'm off to New Hampshire in a few hours. On Monday, you'll be there too! See you on the flip.

Since 7 Jewschool contributors will be at the Institute (and many of them won't be running it), we can hope for some liveblogging during the week.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Who by fire

In the West:

MAALOT, Israel, Aug. 3 — Israeli ground troops pressed forward today to try to create a thin buffer zone along the border with Lebanon and bombed southern Beirut as Hezbollah rockets killed eight Israeli civilians.

On the 23rd day of this conflict in the north, Hezbollah launched more than 100 rockets on northern Israel in less than an hour, with most of the damage on the western edge, in Maalot, its associated Arab Israeli village of Tarshiha and Acre.

Four Israelis, including a man and his daughter, were killed in Acre when a rocket landed on a house and another three, Arab Israeli teenagers, were killed when a rocket exploded near their vehicle in Tarshiha. Thirteen people were seriously wounded.

In Gaza, Israeli forces killed seven Palestinian militants and one boy, 12, in fighting on the edges of the southern town of Rafah as Israeli troops searched for tunnels between Egypt and Gaza.

Israeli airplanes struck again at Hezbollah strongholds in southern Beirut and in Nabatiyeh, while in intermittently fierce ground fighting, three Israeli soldiers were killed and four wounded. They were hit by an antitank missile fired by Hezbollah fighters near the southern village of Farajin, the Israeli military said. The Israelis said they moved to take over new positions along the border and now control some 20 villages.

In the East:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 — Two senior American military commanders said today that the wave of sectarian bloodshed in Iraq has heightened the danger that the country will slide into all-out civil war.

“I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I’ve seen it, in Baghdad in particular, and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war,” Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of United States forces in the Middle East, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

כי אתה ה' באש הצתה, ובאש אתה עתיד לבנותה

For with fire you ignited it, and with fire you're going to build it.

Nothing else

Eicha 3:38

???מִפִּי עֶלְיוֹן לֹא תֵצֵא הָרָעוֹת וְהַטּוֹב

Deuteronomy 4:35 (from the Tish'ah b'Av Torah Reading)

אַתָּה הָרְאֵתָ לָדַעַת כִּי ה' הוּא הָאֱ-לֹהִים
אֵין עוֹד מִלְּבַדּוֹ

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Eicha 5:20-22 :

לָמָּה לָנֶצַח תִּשְׁכָּחֵנוּ, תַּעַזְבֵנוּ לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים.
הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ ה' אֵלֶיךָ וְנָשׁוּבָה, חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם.
כִּי אִם-מָאֹס מְאַסְתָּנוּ, קָצַפְתָּ עָלֵינוּ עַד-מְאֹד.

הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ ה' אֵלֶיךָ וְנָשׁוּבָה, חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם

New York Times:

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 2 — Hezbollah guerrillas fired more than 200 rockets into Israel on Wednesday, a record number, even as Israel poured thousands of troops backed by tanks and armored bulldozers into fierce fighting along the border.

As the battles raged in a half-dozen pockets just over the border, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed that Israel would fight on until an international force moved into southern Lebanon — an uncertain prospect that could take weeks or more.

Tisha B'Av tonight

Eicha 1:13 :

מִמָּרוֹם שָׁלַח-אֵשׁ בְּעַצְמֹתַי, וַיִּרְדֶּנָּה

From above, fire has been sent down into my bones.

An Israeli man was killed Wednesday when a Katyusha struck Kibbutz Saar, north of Nahariya, as Hezbollah marked the resumption of strikes on northern Israel with a record number of some 210 rockets.

The strike brings to 19 the death toll from the rocket attacks since they began on July 12.

For the first time in five days, Hezbollah resumed firing rockets at Haifa. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Also Wednesday, a missile fired by Hezbollah fell in an open area of the West Bank, some 70 kilometers from the northern border. This is the furthest a missile fired by the guerilla group has reached since the start of the conflict in Lebanon. There were no injuries.

In northern Israel, 16 other people were wounded and homes in four communities sustained direct rocket strikes Wednesday morning. At least 63 rockets fell within an hour.


Last weekend's Kol Zimrah / Tikkun Leil Shabbat exchange has been blogged. The next phase of the exchange will take place in NYC August 25-26!

In the meantime: