The Microphone at Times Square

Here’s an urban legend I have never been able to verify. Fact of fiction, it remains instructive. The story goes that in the early days of radio, an open microphone was stationed in the Times Square neighborhood. People could line up and await their turn at the microphone, where their message would be broadcast on a local station.*

The Day the Capitol Emptied Out

On January 6th, our nation’s capitol came under attack, not from a foreign power, but by American citizens. It was a day of high emotion and a low mark in the history of our nation. It was a day of shock and upset.

What is a congregation? Why is the sky blue? Where did the joy go?

There are moments and even eras when fundamental questions surface and when large numbers of people engage in the sort of philosophical speculation that normally is reserved for young children and professional philosophers. These big questions as they are sometimes referred to, are not only about “what is the meaning of life,” but they touch upon mystery or wonder. “Why is the sky blue?”

Vacation Notice

Rabbi Kosak is on vacation this week. Oasis Songs will return next week. In the meantime, please don't forget to use the link below to see Torah commentary from the Conservative Yeshivah and the movement.

The Voices that were Silenced

As I type these words, I am looking out the basement window and across the ravine, to where my neighbor’s deck is battened down for the winter. This is a seasonal view, obscured through most of the year by dense foliage. The vertical rails of their deck fence seem suddenly barren, and I am reminded of a Wallace Steven’s poem entitled “The Plain Sense of Things.”

Vaccines and Jewish Law

Yesterday, England approved the distribution of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine against Covid19 as the first batch of the vaccine was sent to the UK from Belgium. Earlier in the week, a colleague reached out because one of their congregants had claimed that Judaism does not permit people to take vaccines because they are (often) derived from animals, and therefore are not kosher.