The bar mitzvah drash of Moishe Ben Imber Safdar

At the bar mitzvah of a youth in Judaism, they are expected to give a short speech (a “drash”) about the Torah portion appropriate to that week.  This is the one my son delivered at his bar mitzvah on June 23, 2018. In my Torah portion Chukat, the Israelites are demanding water to survive in…

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Naftali (Naphtali) Herz Imber

Way back in my wife’s family tree is a hilariously eccentric relative named Naftali Herz Imber (Wikipedia). He’s credited with having written the words to the Israeli National Anthem, “Hatikvah”. Recently I hired local historian Paula Freedman to dig up some information on him and his intersection with Sarah’s synagogue, Temple Emanu-el. I’m publishing all…

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Archery merit badge advancement

I am an archery merit badge counselor in the Bay area for the Boy Scouts of America. I can provide testing to allow scouts to pass the merit badge requirements and earn their badge. Here are specifics for how you can schedule time with me to complete the archery merit badge requirements. Scheduling time for…

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

[amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&asin=B00J1IQUYM] Richly crafted characters and compelling personal narratives make Station Eleven an joyful read.  Set in present time before, during, and after a 99% fatal global flu pandemic, Emily St. John Mandel successfully utilizes many of the same storytelling and scene-setting techniques of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”. This is post-apocalyptic in the sense that…

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& Teller, YouTube series by Teller of Penn & Teller

Teller, of Penn & Teller fame, has produced a YouTube series about life in Vegas after the zombie apocalypse called “& Teller”.  Laced with a bit of gambling culture satire, this entertaining YouTube series is about the magician Teller’s adventures surviving the zombie apocalypse in Vegas. Watch it for free on YouTube

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