Friday, April 12, 2019

A Big Whole to Fill

The purpose of this blog is to create a center of gravity at the Shabbat table. Please print and share.

Yes, the countdown continues.... 
Click here.

blackhole-croppedUnless you are living in a news-void (in which case I applaud you), you probably recognize this image.

To me, it is, frankly, pretty stunning.

I guess that's a good question for your table - Is there anyone who would not be impressed by this?

A team of 200 astronomers and computer scientists used eight telescopes to turn the entire Earth into a giant telescope in order to capture this image, at the center of a nearby galaxy.

It took them ten years of planning.

We've "known" about black holes for decades, thanks to Al Einstein.

And in 2015 we detected a hiccup from two of them crashing into each other.

But talking about seeing one? It was considered science fiction.

So... (big question for your table) - Does this photo change anything?

Like understanding what gravity is? Probably not.

But what about our belief in black holes? Is seeing believing? Or was the weight of the scientific evidence already strong enough to believe in them?

Next week I'll probably have to cut down on my blogging - and you on your reading - because we need to prepare for the Seder. What's going to be new? What will I keep from the old?

A couple things for you:

1. The Art of Amazement Haggadah is still available (2017 edition). It was created for someone who has never led a Seder before. You can also get a downloadable, editable version here.

2. Every year I discover new Seder props and gimmics. If you'd like to see my 2019 list (or previous lists), shoot me an email.

3. This year we have a new exclusive gift for JSLI partners, "40 Questions to Ask at Your Seder" - If you are not already a partner and want to get a copy, shoot me an email. (don't worry, we included answers)

4. If you are looking for some Pesach inspiration, shoot me an email and I'll share some online audio that you may enjoy.

Question for your table: What is more stunning, the existence of black holes, our ability to predict them, or our ability to observe them?

(Hint: which of these 3 would generate a beracha?)

Shabbat Shalom


A wholly holy and happy Pesach!
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Friday, April 05, 2019

If It's Taxing, It's Good

The purpose of this blog is to work the brain-muscle at the Shabbat table. Please print and share. 

The Countdown to Passover continues... Click here.

i_love_tax_season_i_heart_tax_season_key_ring-r59dbc20b7d5449658eca44a10ba6fae8_x7j3z_8byvr_307.jpg?rvtype=contentI'm happy to say I finished my taxes just in time for Nisan, the Hebrew month that begins tonight.

I really don't care for anything that has to do with spreadsheets. I find it tedious and I simply don't enjoy it.

But I know I have to do it. So eventually I stop procrastinating and do it.

Question (for your table): Is there any way to make something tedious-that-you-must-do enjoyable?

Low-level: Be grateful that you are able to pay taxes - that means you made some money!

Medium-level: Anything that I have to do, but don't want to do, and push myself to do, makes me grow. Appreciate that.

Hight-level: Knowing this is good for me (even though I don't want to do it) means I can actually smile while doing it.

2nd question for your table: Where else in life does this wisdom apply?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - you may want to click on the image above. Just a suggestion.

PPS - you may also want to click here.