Occasionally the internet gods bless me with a 'stumble upon' --- a moment when I come across an article or video that I never intended to find. The video link below is one such wacky gift -- with music composed by a German by the name of Daniel Brenner. And it is perfect timing -- Coming as it does right before we Jewish folk roll the entire Torah and start again, with the beginning. Here is a contemporary commentary on the Creation....




Sukkah City

Moments of brilliance in the creative arts are rare in the Jewish world. (although last week's Galeet Dardashti performance at Le Poisson Rouge was quite amazing)so praise is due to the men (and the organization - Reboot) behind Union Square Park's latest display, Sukkah City. Foer, Cove, and Bennett have concocted this brief explosion of Jewish arts - spun out by artists Jewish and not who worked within the confines of sukkah making. (I love most of them, but "Log" is my personal favorite)

Sukkah City is perfect as it is - a display of architectural creativity that uses organic elements. But I did think of some potential side commentaries that might evolve:

1) A menu for each sukkah that matches the artistic qualities of the structure.
2) A folktale for each sukkah that conjures up something about the artistic theme.
3) A soundscape for each sukkah -- could be very minimalistic...could be just noises or could be symphonic works, or live band playing on handcrafted organic instruments.
Sadly, only one of these sukkot will stay up during the actual holiday, and I imagine that the sukkah that Chabad will be putting up will be of the pre-fab, aluminum pole rectangular variety. (ball is in your court, Chabad -- how about stepping up and designing a sukkah-city type model this year?)

Anyways -- go see this before it is taken down this evening!


A Poem for Kol Nidrei

Kol Nidrei

Men in white space suits sucking asbestos out of the basement

All the vows
All the promises
All the words that passed across my lips
Let them be as if they never were

Every speck of it suctioned into the long curling accordion tube and out into the hazard container on the back of the truck

All the vows
All the promises
All the words that passed across my lips
Let them be as if they never were

The hum of the negative air filtration system

All the vows
All the promises
All the words that passed across my lips
Let them be as if they never were

When they leave, I go down the stairs,
the once rusty, encapsulated pipes
skinny, painted white,
a skeleton.


Rosh Hashannah Predictions 5771

Please note that all of these predictions are within a margin of error
of +/- 2 percent. Enjoy! Daniel


78% of people will pay more attention to the stickers that say
“This prayer book donated in memory of” than the actual prayers.

34% of American three-year-olds will make mildly annoying shofar
noises on the car ride home.

67% of rabbis will say with great sincerity the words “t’shuvah means
more than repentance” but never actually get to the part where they
explain what else it means.

62% of husbands will call out to wives “where are the f*@#ing tickets?”

82% of male worshippers in Reform synagogues will spend the New Year
staring at the assistant rabbis’ curves.

67% of worshippers in Conservative synagogues will whisper "what page
are we on?" at least twelve times during the service. 82% of those
questioned will have no idea.

73% of female worshippers in Orthodox synagogues will experience hat envy.

81% of worshippers in Reconstustionist synagogues will wonder why
after twenty years they are still meeting in a moldy church.

45% of men who take medication for erectile dysfunction will close
their eyes during the Shema.

36% of residents of the Twin Cities area will say, under their breath,
“the brisket is a little dry.”

28% of shofar blowers in the Mid-Atlantic states will lift the shofar
skywards and have to adjust their tallis.

48% will prefer the honey cake with the little crushed walnuts.

100% of Jewish poets will imagine the “Who shall live and who shall
die” liturgy as a Mad Lib.

17% of Jewish Women International members will inadvertently send
musical Rosh Hashannah e-cards to their entire list of email contacts.

Honey wholesalers will once again experience the 2% “Jew-bump”

91% of all Jews will feel that services ran “about an hour too long.”
88% of them will blame it on the rabbi.

22% of Jewish grandmothers will leave messages for their grandchildren
on voice mail – and know that they are home. 99% of them will be home.

Only 24% of Jews over the age of ten will spill wine or grape juice on
their clothing.

84% of the Jewish population will have that awkward moment when
someone whose face you recognize but name you have totally forgotten
waves, smiles and asks “how are you?”

74% of all people who do a responsive reading will enter into the
gates of repentance.

- Daniel S. Brenner