Praise the Contrary and Its Defenders
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Praise the Contrary and Its Defenders
For the chief musician, on common instrument: a song of rebellion.
Praise rising up. Praise unlawful assembly.
Praise the road of excess and the palace of wisdom.
Praise glass houses. Praise the hand that cradles the stone.
Praise refusal of obedience. Praise the young on Raamses Street.
Praise Galileo. Praise acceleration.
Praise bombshells and en masse.
Praise sit-down strikes. Praise outside agitators.
Praise Red Emma. Praise her pistol and praise her restraint.
Praise living your life. Praise Joan of Arc.
Praise wayward daughters. Praise their wayward sons.
Praise the power of indulgence.
Praise Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses. Praise the nail
and the printing press. Praise the First Amendment.
Praise free verse. Praise yellow sunﬂowers.
Praise red wheelbarrows and transcendental leanings.
Praise illicit beauty. Praise the poets of Guantanamo.
Praise the poets of Burma. Praise the noisy streets.
Praise those who tear down walls and climb fences.
Praise Letters from Prison. Praise those who say yes.
Praise the bound notebook and what is within.
Praise Legal Aid attorneys. Praise kitchen-table conspiracies.
Praise insomnia. Praise our hunger. Praise days
we are the bread. Praise farmers’ markets.
Praise Al Gore and quantum physics.
Praise Schrödinger and his cat. Praise jumping in.
Praise talking snakes. Praise history & run-on sentences.
Praise what are the odds? Praise purposeful wandering.
Praise the best minds of any generation. Praise John Brown.
Praise Newt Gingrich. Praise enough is enough.
Praise Walt Whitman and the self. Praise the body’s
wild intelligence. Praise ACT UP and Vagina Monologues.
Praise getting satisfaction. Praise Gertrude Stein.
Praise cross-dressing. Praise untouchables,
partisans and riffraff. Praise slackers. Praise those
who talk back. Praise sympathy for the devil.
Praise the oldest profession. Praise mothers of the disappeared.
Praise mothers of the found. Praise mothers not yet mothers.
Praise not looking away. Praise realists and Cubists.
Praise prohibitionists & remorse. Praise hitting your head
against the wall. Praise giving peace a chance.
Praise Zionist conspiracies. Praise free elections.
Praise Selma, Alabama and early voting. Praise mutiny.
Praise backyard whiskey and those who cook with ﬁre.
Praise Priscilla the Monkey Girl. Praise her admirers.
Praise Freud and Marx and Sinatra. Praise Earhardt.
Praise those who remember what they are told to forget.
Praise agnostics. Praise what we are not supposed to praise.
Praise the electrical storm and the still small voice.
Praise all the proverbs of hell. Praise those
who see it coming. Praise those who do it anyway.
Praise whatever happens next.
One element of the story of the exodus that the Roberts' version elides is God's hardening of Pharaoh's heart. Moses Maimonides (ca 1135 - 1204 CE) recognized this element of the story as a significant paradox since it seemed to suggest that God forced Pharaoh to make the wicked decisions that brought about the punishment of the plagues. As Maimonides recognizes, if this were so, then the notion that the plagues were a...
According to the Book of Exodus, there was a famine in the land of Canaan (later known as Israel). Because of this famine, the Hebrew patriarch Jacob traveled with his extended family of 70 to Egypt to both live inbetter conditions and be with his son Joseph. Joseph’s wisdom had impressed the Pharaoh of Egypt to the point that he was appointed Viceroy of Egypt, which was second in power only to the Pharaoh.
By: Rabbi Ari Weiss At the close of the Haggadah, after moving from past humiliations to future hopes, a surprise! A piyut, or liturgical poem, first quoted in Sefer Rokeach (1160-1238), that returns to the Haggadic theme of retribution but on a deeper, more fundamental register. Nature is a "war of all against all." The cat that attacks is attacked just as the Egyptians who oppressed are oppressed....
Why should we be conscious of the people who we consider strangers?
Why are human beings treated as if they are disposable based on their living circumstances?
Why is it important to reach out to individuals who don’t have the same rights as us?
Despite what we hear about the working conditions, why do we still support the industries?
WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT THIS AS A JEW?
The Jewish people has been a refugee people since biblical times. In the United States, we know the devastating consequences of turning away refugees. Less than a century ago, refugees fleeing the Holocaust were marked as security threats to the U.S., denied entry, and sent back to Europe to be brutally murdered. Furthermore, the value of welcoming, protecting, and loving the...
I wasn't one of the six million who died in the Shoah,
I wasn't even among the survivors.
And I wasn't one of the six hundred thousand who went out of Egypt.
I came to the Promised Land by sea.
No, I was not in that number, though I still have the fire and the smoke
within me, pillars of fire and pillars of smoke that guide me
by night and by day. I still have inside me the...
no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.
you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well.
no one would leave home unless home chased you, fire under feet, hot blood in your belly.
it's not something you ever thought about doing, and so when you did - you carried the anthem under your breath, waiting until the airport toilet to tear up the passport and swallow,...
1) 64% felt unsafe at school due to sexual orientation
2) 44% felt unsafe at school due to gender identification
3) 42% of LGBT youth have experienced cyber bullying
4) 42% of LBGT youth say the community in which they live in is not accepting of LGBT people
5) Only 77% of LGBT youth say they know things will get better
6) 60% LGBT students report feeling unsafe at school because of...
The MaNishtana traditionally asks us, “What is unique or different about tonight?” and, “Why do we eat Matzah, why do we dip and eat Bitter Herbs not just once, but twiceand why do we recline?” These elements are symbolic themes that mirror the reflection our ancestor’s liberation from slavery, the hardships they experienced and theoppression that infringed on their freedoms. Tonight at our GLBT Passover Seder...
Every year we sit down for the Passover seder to commemorate our Exodus from Egypt. While we were fortunate to have this opportunity, even if it was after many years, there are still those in the world that have not yet had their exodus from oppression. Many people are underpaid and work under inhumane conditions. As we sit here tonight, let us reflect on how we may provide those in need with their exodus, just as God...
Our eating of maror and talking about slavery might [...] carry with it a lesson about the negative power of shame. I don’t like sharing my stories of pain or difficulty. They often feel like stories of failure. It often feels like my pain is a result of my inadequacy in managing my life or lack of success. If I were a better person, more capable, wiser, more powerful, my story would be all about happiness. Sadness...
by JEANNE LOHMANN
All day I try to say nothing but thank you,
breathe the syllables in and out with every step I
take through the rooms of my house and outside into
a profusion of shaggy-headed dandelions in the garden
where the tulips’ black stamens shake in their crimson cups.
I am saying thank you, yes, to this burgeoning spring
and to the cold wind of its...
By Rabbi & Dina Brewer
Dayeinu is a highly counter-intuitive hymn.
Among its fourteen stanzas it proclaims that:
Had God taken our ancestors out of Egypt, but not rescued them at the Red Sea, it would have been sufficient.
And had God rescued them at the Red Sea, but not nourished them in the dessert, it would have been sufficient.
And had God brought...