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Quotes

This page offers a monthly quote that I hope you will find inspiring or meaningful, thought provoking or on occasion controversial.

Iyyar 5781
At times you imagine that you, too, are taking root in the soil that you are digging; like all that is growing around, you are nurtured by the light of the sun's rays with food from heaven.  You feel that you, too, live a life in common with the tiniest blade of grass, with each flower, each tree; that you live deeply in the heart of nature, rising up from all and growing straight up into the expanse of the world.

Nisan 5781
Close is what we almost always are: close to happiness, close to another, close to leaving, close to tears, close to God, close to losing faith, close to being done, close to saying something, or close to success, and even, with the greatest sense of satisfaction, close to giving the whole thing up.  Our human essence lies not in arrival, but in being almost there, we are creatures who are on the way, our journey a series of impending anticipated arrivals. We live by unconsciously measuring the inverse distances of our proximity: an intimacy calibrated by the vulnerability we feel in giving up our sense of separation.
David Whyte

Adar 5781
Political violence is evil whether it happens in Portland or at the United States Capitol. Violent mobs are always repugnant. Because many on the left ignored Portland's violence, the former president and some of his allies have now given themselves permission to ignore the violence by those supposedly on 'their side.' No. The answer to an ugly double standard cannot be the elimination of all standards. If we allow tribalism to repeatedly blind us against defending our institutions, we will lose them.
Senator Ben Sasse

Shevat 5781
Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope, but I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.
Greta Thunberg

Tevet 5781
We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Kislev 5781
Our quarrel is not with Jews who are different but with Jews who are indifferent.
Rabbi Stephen S. Wise

Heshvan 5781
Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You've seen the refugees going nowhere,
you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.
Adam Zagajewski

Tishrei 5781
Humility is the root and beginning of repentance.
Bachya ibn Pakuda

Elul 5780
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
President Theodore Roosevelt