Re-discovering Cynicism

butchart gardens crystal ball

Help! I am trapped inside the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, looking out onto the world. Vanity of vanities, says Kohelet, it’s all vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Yes, I’m a social media junkie. And I am so tired of this summer’s news cycle. Now that the cease fire seems to be holding in Gaza, it’s no longer interesting to North Americans. ISIS atrocities got a few days and then everything switched to Robin Williams’ sad […]

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Holy War: Moses v. Joshua


Joshua, Moses’ trusted assistant, has exactly three spoken lines in the Five Books of Moses, a.k.a. the Torah. After the revelation of the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai, Moses and Joshua climb the mountain. From below, they hear the sound of people worshiping an idol, the Golden Calf. Joshua says, “The sound of war is in the camp!” (Exodus 32:17). “No,” replies Moses, “That’s the sound of people singing.” When […]

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Dove Territory

Crow Dove feather

Crows have colonized Vancouver. Superimposed on the human city is an entire crow city, divided into family territories. During the day, families work in the neighbourhoods; at night they return, 6,000 strong, to their communal roost. Vancouver’s crows have allowed the rock doves only small slices of territory. Two blocks away from Sophia Street, doves nest on commerce-oriented Main Street. This has suited the doves; concrete building ledges are among their favourite places. Until […]

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The Blind God

blind cat homer

A night time dream, July 8, 2014: We arrive home from a trip. Our little cat Keely, a lively green-eyed tortoise shell, comes to greet us. But something is wrong. Her golden fur has faded to grey, and her eyes are missing from her little face. Cracks radiate from her empty eye sockets. Her wounds must be fresh but she does not bleed. She does not seem to be in […]

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Rabbi Laura’s Day Off

Intention smaller

  Our 21 year old daughter has invited her parents to The Intention Gathering, a “self-sustaining, all-ages, ethnically diverse superfragilistic-art-dance-creative community.” We have absolutely no idea what that means. But we are delighted to spend three days away from leadership in our Jewish community, three days of play without work, three days of anonymity. We pack camping gear appropriate to three days of summer rainforest weather. Without any clear mental image […]

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