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.

A Video Story and Message for Thanksgiving

As we approach Thanksgiving, I wanted to share with you one of our tradition's beloved stories. It is the only Jewish story I know which features a turkey, and that makes it seem appropriate for this week. I hope you will enjoy this video.

Prayers of Gratitude

Friends, I don’t know about you, but the recent news from Pfizer and Moderna did me a world of good. Yes, it will still be quite a long time before vaccine production can be scaled up sufficiently so that we can return to a semblance of the life we all knew before this pandemic. I liken it to the old aphorism of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Home is Where the Heart Began

I have been reading a memoir about home by author David Biespiel. If you are unfamiliar with him, David is an acclaimed author, poet and memoirist who lives in SE Portland and is the Poet in Residence at OSU.