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Hazon Blog

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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[...]

Food, then and now

Food, then and now

August 6th, 2020

Thursday, August 6, 2020 | 16 Av 5780 Dear All, This week’s sidra, Eikev, is the week that introduced into English (via the King James version)  “man does not live by bread alone” and “a land flowing with milk and honey.”  It’s the week[...]

Mourning Eternity in the Cedars of Lebanon

Mourning Eternity in the Cedars of Lebanon

July 29th, 2020

By Jessica Haller There is one place in the world today where you can touch the grandchildren or perhaps even the sibling trees of the actual trees King Solomon ordered to build the First Temple.  The Cedars of Lebanon still stand[...]

Cancel culture & Tisha B'Av

Cancel culture & Tisha B'Av

July 27th, 2020

Monday, July 27, 2020 | 6 Av 5780 Dear All, First: 2020 Vision Rides are proceeding; our first Adamah At Home has just completed, very successfully indeed, and two more cohorts are now planned; and you can book an Isabella Freedman Getaway[...]

The Dream of Shmita - Deirdre Gabbay

The Dream of Shmita - Deirdre Gabbay

July 23rd, 2020

I have been wanting to write in response to the situation we are all in for several weeks, but each time I’ve begun, I’ve gotten confused and had to stop. There are so many facets of this time and situation[...]

Out of the Crash

Out of the Crash

July 21st, 2020

Dear Friends, R’ Benay Lappe, who runs SVARA queer yeshiva in Chicago, teaches what she calls her “crash theory.” Every person and every group has a narrative that defines us and our beliefs, she says. This is called a “master story.”[...]

Two ways to feel better this summer (or maybe three)

Two ways to feel better this summer (or maybe three)

July 16th, 2020

Thursday, July 16, 2020 | 24 Tammuz 5780 Dear All, Wave upon wave of change and challenge. For the Jewish community, as for the world, there have been overlapping responses since early March. Understanding what this thing was. Changes in behavior, in what you could[...]

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Shiva Asar B'Tammuz

July 9th, 2020

Today is a fast day on the Jewish calendar, known as Shiva Assar B'Tammuz. The Mishnah (a compendium of Jewish oral traditions compiled in the third century) provides five tragedies that happened on this day in Jewish history: It was on[...]

Isabella Freedman: an update, and an invitation

Isabella Freedman: an update, and an invitation

June 23rd, 2020

Thursday, June 23, 2020 | Rosh Chodesh Tammuz 5780 Dear All, I want to explain how and why Freedman has been closed, and also to invite you to join us for an “Isabella Freedman Getaway” – a 5- or 12-night stay at Isabella Freedman.[...]

The launch of Adamah At Home, and thoughts about M4BL

The launch of Adamah At Home, and thoughts about M4BL

June 18th, 2020

Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 26 Sivan 5780 Dear All, Isabella Freedman is closed as a retreat center, but the state of CT has reduced the minimum period for bookings, which now enables us - next week -  to launch Isabella Freedman Getaways.[...]

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Perspectives

June 3rd, 2020

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 | 11th Sivan 5780 Dear All, I don’t feel like I have a lot of wisdom right now. This is hard. The lessons of Jewish history favor moderation, and striving to keep one’s balance. It is relatively easy for[...]