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Hazon Blog

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Purim: Truths Revealed Over The Past Year by Melissa Hoffman

Purim: Truths Revealed Over The Past Year by Melissa Hoffman

February 22nd, 2021

Many of us anticipated this Purim as the approximate year-marker since our lives changed unimaginably. There’s something apt about the holiday that highlights the topsy-turvy nature of life bookending the beginning — and hopefully the beginning of the end —[...]

Terumah: Good Neighbors by Judry Subar

Terumah: Good Neighbors by Judry Subar

February 16th, 2021

Breathlessly, the first third of the Torah runs through stories of creation, accounts of love and rupture in the pre-Israelite and Israelite family, reports of slavery experienced and slavery escaped, and rules governing all sorts of circumstances.  Over the course[...]

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Rosh Chodesh Adar, and a preview of the Shmita Prizes

February 11th, 2021

February 11, 2021 | Erev Rosh Chodesh Adar   Dear All, The Hebrew month of Adar, by tradition, “increases joy.” Those who are used to Jewish tradition may take this idea for granted. But underlying it are presumptions that are worth thinking about,[...]

Mishpatim: We All Live Downstream by Adriane Leveen

Mishpatim: We All Live Downstream by Adriane Leveen

February 9th, 2021

"We all live downstream." Those words, spoken by a member of a first nation community in the haunting film, The Condor and the Eagle, capture a simple truth we are too ready to forget. None of us will escape the[...]

A Call to Action for Rabbis and Spiritual Leaders From Hazon's Detroit Rabbi, Nate DeGroot

A Call to Action for Rabbis and Spiritual Leaders From Hazon's Detroit Rabbi, Nate DeGroot

February 3rd, 2021

Dear Rabbis and Spiritual Leaders, With each passing day, and each new scientific report, it is becoming increasingly clear that the climate crisis is and will continue to be the most pressing moral issue of our time. I know you, like[...]

Yitro: The Operating Manual by Deirdre Gabbay

Yitro: The Operating Manual by Deirdre Gabbay

February 2nd, 2021

Parshat Yitro, in the book of Exodus, contains the beginning of the story of the Revelation at Sinai. The story of Revelation begins here, but the telling unfolds in a complex, layered piece of narrative origami. The halakhic midrash of[...]

Beshalach: Redemption Song by Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein

Beshalach: Redemption Song by Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein

January 29th, 2021

It is Friday evening and the sun is just about the set. The synagogue is filled with a psalm and song-filled greeting for Her Majesty, the Shabbat Queen. After six long days of toiling, working, and serving,  we have finally[...]

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Thoughts on this Tu B'Shvat

January 28th, 2021

Thursday, January 28, 2021 | Tu B'Shvat 5781   Dear All, One of the questions underpinning the entire Jewish environmental movement is the question: to what end? If we want to make a difference in the world, can’t we – shouldn’t we –[...]

Food Rescue Hero: Darraugh Collins

Food Rescue Hero: Darraugh Collins

January 21st, 2021

After the completion of ten weeks of exposure, enlightenment, and heavy back breaking work, Tania and I find ourselves longing for our internship to continue on into 2021. By working with Hazon and other partner organizations and leaders in the[...]

Bo: Hyssop - The Paintbrush of Liberation, by Rabbi David Seidenberg

Bo: Hyssop - The Paintbrush of Liberation, by Rabbi David Seidenberg

January 20th, 2021

In parshat Bo, the destroying angel passes over the houses of the Israelites — in Hebrew “pasach al hapetach” — sparing their firstborn, and giving the Passover holiday its name in Hebrew and English. But the angel only “knows” who[...]

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Light In The Darkness

January 12th, 2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 | 28th Tevet 5781   Dear All, Tomorrow night it’s Rosh Chodesh Shvat. The beginning of the beginnings. Next week a new president, a new government. The week after it’s Tu B’Shvat and the Big Bold Jewish Climate Fest. The almond[...]

Vaera: Our Plagues and Our Plans by Ann Hait and Rabbi Gabe Greenberg

Vaera: Our Plagues and Our Plans by Ann Hait and Rabbi Gabe Greenberg

January 12th, 2021

In Parshat Vaera, the action revolves around God’s command, through Moses, that Pharoah free the enslaved Israelites. Pharaoh's hard-headedness and selfishness preclude him from doing so immediately, and in response, God sends a series of plagues to Egypt. Dam, tzfarde'a,[...]

Shemot: Talking with God by SooJi Min-Maranda

Shemot: Talking with God by SooJi Min-Maranda

January 6th, 2021

This week’s parsha, Shemot, is the same Torah portion that I read from the bima at Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, MI, thirteen-and-a-half years after officially claiming Judaism as an adult b’nai mitzvah. What a wonderful opportunity to be[...]

Take action for a just and climate-smart food system

Take action for a just and climate-smart food system

January 6th, 2021

Take action for a just and climate-smart food system… even if you aren’t following all the complexities taking place on Capitol Hill! We are tracking opportunities for the Jewish community to tip the scales toward effective policy. Join our advocacy alert[...]

Vayechi: Brotherly Love by Eli Weinbach

Vayechi: Brotherly Love by Eli Weinbach

December 30th, 2020

This week, Jacob, like his father before him, sets out to bless his progeny. The first to receive his blessings are Joseph’s sons, the brothers Ephraim and Menashe. Those who have been following since Bereshit will know that being a[...]

Vayigash: We Need Emotional Shmita Now by Rabbi Shoshana Friedman

Vayigash: We Need Emotional Shmita Now by Rabbi Shoshana Friedman

December 23rd, 2020

Deep into the Joseph story, we come to a moment that catches my breath and makes me tear up every year. Joseph, sold to slavery long ago, stands now as the viceroy of Egypt. He has designed a system of[...]

Miketz: Run Wild by Judry Subar

Miketz: Run Wild by Judry Subar

December 16th, 2020

In the beginning, the world was a wild and chaotic place.  While the arc of the Genesis narrative bends relentlessly toward the taming of the chaos, progress is slow.  As the human species settles in for the long haul, its[...]

Vayeshev: Entitlement and Creation by Hannah Elovitz

Vayeshev: Entitlement and Creation by Hannah Elovitz

December 10th, 2020

Our story returns to tell us, “Now Jacob was settled in the land where his father had sojourned, the land of Canaan” (Gen. 37:1, JPS translation). Jacob’s father and grandfather had only ever been outsiders in the land in which[...]

Darkness, and light – from the United Nations

Darkness, and light – from the United Nations

December 9th, 2020

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 | Erev Chanukah   Dear All, First: a huge thank you to every single person who has supported us in 2020. A record number of people supported us on Giving Tuesday. I and we appreciate it. This year we survived,[...]

Food Rescue Hero: April Roe Agosta

Food Rescue Hero: April Roe Agosta

December 8th, 2020

For our second edition of Food Rescue Hero of the Week, Tania and I instantly knew the exact woman we needed to highlight. For years, April Roe Agosta has fed those in need -- from her backyard to the back[...]

Vayishlach: Rename and Renew by Rabbi Joshua Ratner

Vayishlach: Rename and Renew by Rabbi Joshua Ratner

December 3rd, 2020

2020 has been a year of unbelievable struggle. Between the devastating impact of Covid-19, the profound struggle for racial equality that erupted in nation-wide protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and the hyper-partisan election campaign that tore apart[...]

Hazon Detroit: Tragic Hope & Meaningful Action

Hazon Detroit: Tragic Hope & Meaningful Action

December 3rd, 2020

by Rebecca Levy   Dear Friends, Since the summer, we have had the incredible fortune of having six wonderful interns supporting and enriching our work. Much gratitude to Repair the World Serve the Moment, the Applebaum Internship Program, JOIN, and the Hornstein Program[...]

Vayetze: The Meaning of Seven by Aharon Ariel Lavi

Vayetze: The Meaning of Seven by Aharon Ariel Lavi

November 24th, 2020

Shmita is the seventh year, following six regular years — and numbers in the Torah are not incidental, but rather a channel for meaningful ideas. The first, and most renowned, appearance of the number seven is obviously the seven days[...]

Light, and the amplitude of life

Light, and the amplitude of life

November 20th, 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 3 Kislev 5781   And announcing a new initiative for college students: Campus-at-Camp – at Isabella Freedman – spring '21. Applications opened today and close December 4th.   Dear All, I’m feeling intensely the amplitude of life right now. One of the things that[...]

Food Rescue Hero: Minister Antonio

Food Rescue Hero: Minister Antonio

November 19th, 2020

Over the next few months, Tania and myself, Lily, will be highlighting our local food rescue heroes. In doing this work only briefly, we have been struck with the profound recognition of our own privilege, of our ability to go[...]

Toldot: What Will We Eat in the Seventh Year? Shmita, Lack, and Abundance by Justin Goldstein

Toldot: What Will We Eat in the Seventh Year? Shmita, Lack, and Abundance by Justin Goldstein

November 17th, 2020

While the language may be a product of recent decades, the dichotomy between an “abundance mentality” and a “lack mentality” is a core human experience. The basic principles of these two concepts reflect a question of perspective; one who embodies[...]

Hakhel Spotlight: D I S T A N C E – A 9th Street Project

Hakhel Spotlight: D I S T A N C E – A 9th Street Project

November 17th, 2020

WHO? 9th Street is a community of Jewish multidisciplinary artists and creatives based in Johannesburg. Recently and together with seed money from Hakhel and a grant from the South African Cities Network, we embarked on a project to bridge the distances[...]

Chayei Sarah: What does it mean to “own” land – and why is it important? by Nigel Savage

Chayei Sarah: What does it mean to “own” land – and why is it important? by Nigel Savage

November 10th, 2020

In my twenties I bought my first apartment in London. My parents lent me £5,000 for the deposit, and I got a mortgage for the rest. It was a 2-bedroomed apartment in Golders Green. I do no disservice to my[...]

Vayeirah: The Shaping of the Land by Eliezer Weinbach

Vayeirah: The Shaping of the Land by Eliezer Weinbach

November 4th, 2020

Inherent in the concept of Shmita is an understanding that as much as we toil to shape the land, the land shapes us as well. How does it shape a person to raise children where their great-grandparents were raised? How[...]

Lech-Lecha: Environmental Refugees by Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin

Lech-Lecha: Environmental Refugees by Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin

October 29th, 2020

This week’s parashah, Lekh Lekha (Genesis 12:1-17:27) heralds the emergence of the Jewish people. The story is inaugurated by a call from God directing Abra[ha]m to uproot himself and his family, leave his homeland, his memories, his childhood, all he[...]

Noah: In Search of Balance by Hannah Henza

Noah: In Search of Balance by Hannah Henza

October 22nd, 2020

The story of Noah is a tale that shows up in many ancient forms. But the lessons we learn from the various deluge narratives are more applicable today than perhaps ever before.  As the story opens, we are told that Noah[...]

September 9th, 2029

September 9th, 2029

October 20th, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020 | 27 Tishrei 5781 Dear All, The Jewish holidays are over, and the rest of our lives now proceeds. I’ve been thinking about one particular future date that should be in our calendars - and why it should[...]

Bereishit: The Sabbatical Paradigm by Jeremy Benstein

Bereishit: The Sabbatical Paradigm by Jeremy Benstein

October 14th, 2020

"And there was evening, and there was morning" (Gen. 1). Nature has rhythms. "Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Summer and winter, Day and night... " (Gen. 8).  Human society too has rhythms. Or at least it did, once. Traditional societies,[...]

Hazon Detroit: Shake Local

Hazon Detroit: Shake Local

October 7th, 2020

Dear Friends, Our rabbis say (Tosafot, Suk. 37b) that when we shake the lulav and etrog on Sukkot, “the trees of the forest sing with joy.” So that got us to wondering, what are the conditions that might allow the trees[...]

Join Hazon in Getting Out The Vote!

Join Hazon in Getting Out The Vote!

September 22nd, 2020

By Becky O'Brien and Janna Siller   “The opposite of good is not evil; the opposite of good is indifference. In a free society where terrible wrongs exist, some are guilty, but all are responsible.” These words are from the same sage,[...]

The fires this time: public goods, the Jewish community, different time horizons

The fires this time: public goods, the Jewish community, different time horizons

September 15th, 2020

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 | 26 Elul 5780   Dear All, We weren’t going to send an email this week. We figured there’d be enough in your inbox in the days before Rosh Hashanah. But I am prompted by the fires out West to[...]

(A small number of) you are invited to join us for the chagim at Isabella Freedman

(A small number of) you are invited to join us for the chagim at Isabella Freedman

September 9th, 2020

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 | 20 Elul 5780   Dear All, These of course will be unique chagim. The shuls and rabbis are preparing hard, and now is a time to send love to every rabbi, to every cantor, to every leader of[...]

Hazon Detroit: I Am To My Beloved

Hazon Detroit: I Am To My Beloved

August 27th, 2020

Dear Friends, When this pandemic began it was winter. You may remember it snowing while we were Safer At Home. Winter eventually gave way to spring, as it does, and life bloomed bright while we remained in quarantine. As the months[...]

Rosh Chodesh Elul, the instinct for joy – and a great short video on blowing the shofar

Rosh Chodesh Elul, the instinct for joy – and a great short video on blowing the shofar

August 20th, 2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020 | 30 Av 5780 | Rosh Chodesh Elul   Dear All, Today is my grandma’s 17th yahrtzeit. Tomorrow, the first of Elul, would have been my father’s 88th birthday. To be honest, we didn’t realize that this was Dad’s birthday until after[...]

Moving from the Real to the Ideal - Rabbi Dov Linzer

Moving from the Real to the Ideal - Rabbi Dov Linzer

August 18th, 2020

The Torah commands us in the laws of Shmita for the first time in Shemot 23:11: “And six years you shall sow thy land, and shall gather in the fruits thereof. But the seventh year you shall relinquish it; that[...]