Wednesday, November 18, 2020

News Limerick: Wisconsin Recount - November 18, 2020

They'll count for the cost of three million
And that's an expensive cotillion
They'll all dance their parts
But end near their starts
And Trump will become a civilian

Trump campaign requests partial Wisconsin recount, deposits $3 million to challenge Biden victory

Monday, November 16, 2020

News Limerick: Hurricane Iota - November 16, 2020

We’re up to a storm named Iota
They spring up like bubbles in soda
To slow climate change
We must rearrange
Swift action we must not say no to

Hurricane Iota the Second Catastrophic Strike in Two Weeks in Central America

Sunday, November 15, 2020

News Limerick: Coronavirus autumn surge - November 15, 2020

I’m filled with a sense of foreboding
The virus’ spread is exploding
Wear masks, wash your hands
Make long distance plans
With loved ones you long to be holding

New York Times: Tracking the Coronavirus Outbreak

Saturday, November 14, 2020

News Limerick: Student of History - November 14, 2020

Think World War Two time Germany
Were socialists?! No, that can’t be!
That’s crazy at batsh*ts
Those Nazis were fascists!
I’m smarter than Senator T

Incoming GOP Senator Apparently Doesn’t Know Basics of World War II

News Limerick: Utah Bars - November 14, 2020

It’s time for the bars to be closing
Despite all your preening and posing
To stop virus spread
Head home to your bed
At 10 PM? I’m usually dozing

Utah bars turn off the taps at 10, per new state health order

Friday, November 13, 2020

News Limerick: November 13, 2020

A president sitting there sulking
Is nothing else shy of insulting
Since votes are now in
It’s Biden whose win
Unseated this wannabe dull king

As Trump stews over election, he mostly ignores the public duties of the presidency

Space Limerick: Europa’s glowing dark side

Europa may glow in the dark!
A Clipper is planned to embark
In five years or so
Then swiftly will go
To seek out life’s signature spark

Europa’s Nightside Glows in the Dark

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

D'var Chayei Sara

This coming week, we’ll read parsha Chayei Sara, the life of Sarah. Of course, most parshot (as well as books) in the Torah are named for some of their first words. This is no exception. The second and third words are “chayei sara”. Then again, so are the eleventh and twelfth words, still within the first verse. In full, it reads:

וַיִּהְיוּ֙ חַיֵּ֣י שָׂרָ֔ה מֵאָ֥ה שָׁנָ֛ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְשֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֑ים שְׁנֵ֖י חַיֵּ֥י שָׂרָֽה׃

And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years; these were the years of the life of Sarah.

So, although it’s called “the life of Sara”, it’s actually about her death. In a moment, I’d like to get to what comes after her passing, but for now, let’s focus on this first verse.

Why is “chayei sara” repeated? I don’t speak Hebrew, but here’s something that jumps out at me here. The first time, it says “the life of Sarah was so and so many years”. That tells us, “Sarah got to live for this long.”

The second time, though, the wording is flipped. It’s “the years of the life of Sarah.” In other words, the years that the world got to have Sarah in it. The focus here becomes the impact she had on those around her and on her time. From this, we learn that the acts and deeds of her life actually extend beyond her passing. She had a lasting impact that was felt and that made a difference even when she was no longer present.