Entries by nmargalit

17 Tammuz / Ramadan Fast Against Violence

(Note: Organic Torah is reprinting an e-mail sent by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, in which he spreads the word about a Hunger Strike Against Violence set for July 15, to be concurrent with the Jewish fast of 17 Tammuz and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.  As he explains, the idea originated with Eliaz Cohen, a […]

A Genuine Culture?

As I always do on my visits back to Honolulu to see my mother and other family (who still live at or near the old homestead), this last February I attended Shabbat morning services at my mother’s congregation, Sof Ma’arav. It’s a wonderful, eclectic mix of people. Among them is a very interesting and pleasant […]

Mark Your Calendars, Aug. 11-15! Wild Roots of Torah

Mark your calendars, and join us the week of August 11-15 for Exploring Texts, Tribe and Trees as a Jewish Spiritual Practice with Natan Margalit and Mia Miriam Cohen.  This track will be part of Elat Chayyim’s Living Labs retreat, held every August at the beautiful Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in the Connecticut Berkshires.  Click here […]

The Many Stories of Passover

One of the simple but important sentences that we read on the Seder night is: “Even if all of us were wise, discerning, venerated, and completely knowledgeable in the Torah, it is still a mitzvah for us to tell the story of the deliverance from Egypt.” This sentence presumes a very simple question: “If I […]

Introduction to Organic Torah

Announcing a Free Series of Workshops: Introduction to Organic Torah Join us as Rabbi Natan leads these workshops on untangling the complexity of Jewish texts with insights from the study of complex systems.  Learn how the literary structure of rabbinic text reflects natural structures and systems.  These events are free and open to the public. […]

Mandela, Polemics and the Jews

Click here to read the post on The Many Stories of Passover. Sorry about any inconvenience. I’ve been thinking recently about how polemics can impoverish us. When we engage in polemics — taking two opposite positions, “poles,” and “polarizing” into our corners — each side becomes only a caricature of what they really are: we […]

Organic Torah — A New Integration

Forces of fragmentation are threatening our world, but, under the radar, a new culture of connection is also rising. Organic Torah is about bringing new ideas and strength to this culture of connection.  You can help us grow and expand our work.  You can help stop the forces of fragmentation and create a world of […]

The Pew Survey of Jewish Americans: Panic or Perspective?

A few weeks ago the Jewish world — or those parts of it that pay attention to these kinds of things — was put on high alert by the announcements of the results of the Pew Research Center’s 2013 Survey of Jewish Americans (http://www.pewforum.org/2013/10/01/jewish-american-beliefs-attitudes-culture-survey/). The Israeli newspaper Haaretz summed up the results saying, “the findings show that […]

Spring 2014 Classes with Rabbi Natan: Register Now!

Hassidic Texts and Spiritual Practice: An Online Course Mondays, 7:30-9:30pm, Jan. 20 through May 5, 2014 Tuition: $550* for Organic Torah students (Aleph students register through Aleph)  A text-based introduction to Hasidism in its early stages, this course will explore the spiritual world of the early Hassidic Rebbes, and its relevance for us today. We will […]

The Spiral of Return

A couple of months ago, a New York Times article caught my eye: “Breeding Nutrition out of Food” (click here to read it). Apparently, before agriculture, veggies were bitter, but they were much more nutritious. We have bred out a lot of the bitterness, creating the soft, sweet and juicy fruits and veggies we now […]