I have published the following books; each of the three bulleted items has its own page on this website, where much more information can be found.
Other Jewish Publications
Over the years I have prepared a variety of materials related to Judaism, selections of which I am posting here, with an introduction to each group of materials. These materials are presented roughly in chronological order; most date from before 2000 since my focus after that date has been on the books described above.
D’var Torah columns
During the 1990s, the National Havurah Committee published a weekly D’var Torah column in a number of newspapers. The NHC was evidently the first to do this; over the following years, there were many weekly D’var Torah columns published by individuals and groups, first in print and now electronically. I wrote the following three columns as part of that enterprise.
During the 1990s I let many guided meditations on traditional prayers for small local groups and at retreats and institutes of the National Havurah Committee. In 1996 I published a tape that contained guided meditations, each half an hour long, on Psalms 23 and 27. I had intended to publish a number of other meditations, but the only other one that was completed was an hour-long guided meditation on the morning (Shacharit) prayer service. They are available here in both text and audio formats. Caution: Do not list to guided meditations while driving a car; doing so will slow down your response time and potentially endanger your life.
There are two books that I intended to write after publishing Siddur Eit Ratzon and devoted a great deal of energy to them before focusing on Memorable Verses and then Pirkei Avot. Perhaps I will yet complete them, but I am posting here the results of my efforts.
Prayers and Meditations. In writing Siddur Eit Ratzon, I developed and wrote a number of prayers and meditations that I thought would enhance the prayer experience of those who recited them. The first 3:30 of
this video explains why meditation has that effect. (The remaining 10 minutes of the video has the meditation that accompanies item c below.) Following is a selection of these prayers and meditations:
The first two essays below appear in Machzor Eit Ratzon. They reflect my attempt to understand how Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have been observed over the past 3000 years and how Rosh Hashanah has become an appendage of Yom Kippur. The third essay was written before, during, and immediately after my trip to Poland in 2012. The fourth essay was written in conjunction with my presentation on prayer at a CAJE Conference.
Daily Daf Differently. DDD is a daily ten-minute podcast that discusses the daily page (Daf Yomi) of the Talmud, where each participant prepares a week’s worth of podcasts. I prepared 7 podcasts dealing with Rosh Hashanah in 2014 and 7 podcasts dealing with the nazir (nazirite) in 2015. These are available below in both print and audio formats. The conclusion that I came to is that the traditional understandings of the nazir are incorrect. I think that the nazir was a person who wanted to offer himself or herself to God … as a sacrifice. This may have been an option in ancient Canaan, but was no longer acceptable in Judaism. The only part of oneself that one could offer to God was one’s hair; the rules for the nazir are intended to ensure that one’s hair is grown in a state of purity so that it can be burned on the altar.
Limericks and Other Humor
Quora Responses. Quora is an electronic platform that provides people around the world an opportunity to ask questions and obtain responses to those questions from other participants. Following is a selection of my responses, grouped by topic: