Instead of Doom Scrolling

To varying degrees we cannot tear ourselves away from the broadcasts. Someone said this week, “I will watch it all.” For this person, bearing witness is solidarity.  Others tell me they can only watch so much. They turn away, only to reach for the remote again a half hour later.

A friend who is also a rabbi and one of my teachers cautioned us against steeping ourselves in the horror.  She shared a link to a daily seminar that is broadcast by the JPPI. From their site: The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) is an independent professional policy planning think tank incorporated as a private non-profit company in Israel. The mission of the Institute is to ensure the thriving of the Jewish People and the Jewish civilization by engaging in professional strategic thinking and planning on issues of primary concern to world.

JPPI’s daily seminars  are  led by Institue fellows, former Israeli ambassadors, professors, IDF generals and more. Again, from their website: A rotating team of experienced analysts of Israeli military affairs, the US-Israel relationship, Israel’s political system and the country’s diverse society, will guide you through the fog of war, the bombardment of news – real and fake – the barrage of tweets and posts and the confusion of chaos.  If you care about Israel and the Jewish people, if you want to get the signal amid the noise, JPPI’s Daily Inside Analysis is for you.

These daily conversations (most are about an hour of less and begin at 10:00 a.m. EST)  are a welcome counterpoint to the news broadcasts.  You can watch prior broadcasts on YouTube here.          I can’t figure out how to share the embedded link in their daily note but if you email me I can send it to you or contact

JPPI is correct, if you care about Israel and the Jewish people, if you want to get the signal amid the noise, JPPI’s Daily Inside Analysis is for you.  And for anyone else whom you think would welcome it. Please share this post.



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Chai Means Life

My daughter and her husband live in a demographically rich community. Their neighbors’ ages span decades. Some are married; others are partnered. They are gender fluid and gender solid. The children of this community enjoy their parents’ love and attention and that of many honorary parents as well. They share garden bounty and drop off soup when someone is ill.

From time to time Emma mentions an especially beloved couple in their eighties. The husband was raised by his Jewish mother and non-pracitcing Catholic father. His wife is Lutheran. Emma didn’t mention what place, if any, Judaism figures in his life or if he and his wife have children.  A week or so ago, she told me that the husband gave her his mother’s chai pendant. I was moved beyond words. Still am.

Emma told me she will wear the chai on the Jewish holidays and, “maybe other times as well.” Just like that as one year comes to a close and another begins a treasured memento, likely a century old, has been given new life. Wear it in good health, Emma.  And may the woman who once wore it look down upon you with blessings.

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