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Quotes

This page offers a monthly quote that I hope readers will find inspiring or meaningful, thought provoking or occasionally controversial.

Sivan 5782
And every person is a dam between past and future.
When he dies the dam is broken and the past breaks through into the future
And there is no early or late. Time is one
Like our God, our time is one.
And the memory of the dam is a blessing.

Iyyar 5782
Every day is a day
of remembrance for someone
who died.  He who has 
a grave and he who has
nowhere to cry

He who has mourners, he who
doesn't, she who has
truth, she who
doesn't, he whom others
have built on top
of his dead and he may not
dig, and he who destroys
the house of the dead

Every day is a day of remembrance.
Every day someone dies
is killed in the name
of a forgotten dead, every
day someone is forgotten, every
day someone retreats into the air
without an epitaph: unfathomable Land
layer upon layer, if only all your slain
were remembered, if only all
were forgotten.

Nisan 5782
Three hundred years ago a ship called the Mayflower set sail to the New World.  This was a great event in the history of England.  Yet I wonder if there is one Englishman who knows at what time the ship set sail?  Do the English know how many people embarked on this voyage?  What quality of bread did they eat?  Yet more than three thousand three hundred years ago, before the Mayflower set sail, the Jews left Egypt.  Every Jew in the world, even in America or Soviet Russia knows on exactly what date they left-the fifteenth of the month of Nisan; everyone knows what kind of bread the Jews ate.  Even today the Jews worldwide eat matza on the 15th of Nisan.  They retell the story of the Exodus and all the troubles Jews have endured since being exiled.  They conclude this evening with two statements: "This year, slaves.  Next year, free men.  This year here.  Next year in Jerusalem, in Zion, in Eretz Yisrael."  That is the nature of the Jews.
David Ben Gurion

Adar II 5782
It's a victory when the weapons fall silent and people speak up.
Volodymyr Zelensky

Adar I 5782
Water is our lifeline and our dark shadow.

Shevat 5782
When you realize that you live in, that indeed you are this moment now, and no other, that apart from this there is no past and no future, you must relax and taste to the full, whether it be pleasure or pain. At once it becomes obvious why this universe exists, why conscious beings have been produced, why sensitive organs, why space, time, and change. The whole problem of justifying nature, of trying to make life mean something in terms of its future, disappears utterly. Obviously, it all exists for this moment. It is a dance, and when you are dancing you are not intent on getting somewhere.  The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance.
Alan W. Watts

Tevet 5782
Grant us this day
Bruising the make of us.
At times over half of our bodies
Are not our own,
Our persons made vessel
For nonhuman cells.
To them we are
A boat of a being,
Essential.
A country,
A continent,
A planet.
A human
Microbiome is all the writhing forms on
& inside this body
Drafted under our life.
We are not me—
We are we.
Call us
What we carry.
Amanda Gorman

Kislev 5782
Free and proud people owe no one any explanations, particularly on the matter of their inconvenient survival. Want to boycott Israel? Groovy! Thankfully, we’ve come up with an antidote, a system of thought that encourages Jews to wean themselves from caring what their haters think or do. It’s called Zionism, and it means that if someone doesn’t wish to grace us with their ice cream/bad TV shows/academic conferences, we can simply shrug our shoulders, move on, and acquire the thing elsewhere, most likely by making it ourselves and making it better. That’s what people do when they’re in command of their destiny. A century or more ago, Zionism brought us Jewish liberation; it’s time we finally started acting the part.
Liel Leibovitz

Heshvan 5782
I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks — who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre, to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer,” a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea.
Henry David Thoreau

Tishrei 5782
The most beautiful thing that one can do is to forgive a wrong.
Rabbi Eleazar ben Judah of Worms

Elul 5781
There is never an end to loss, or hope
I give up the ghost for which I grope
Over and over again saying Amen
To all that does or does not happen--
The eternal event is now, not when