Entries by nmargalit

Somerville, Strawberries and Shehechianu

Our neighboring town, the city of Somerville, was recently in the national news as the first city in the U.S.to systematically start tracking its citizens’ happiness.  “How Happy Are You? A Census Wants to Know.” NYTimes, May 1. It’s another crack in the reigning paradigm of reductionism: the idea that it is more scientific and […]

Pesach, Stories and the Earth

As I was getting ready for Pesach, dusting my windows, lamp stands and dresser, I was thinking about entropy and how we are always running to keep ahead of the encroachment of disorder, dispersion and dissipation. Entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, says that the world is constantly moving towards disorder. There is always a […]

David Brooks’ New Humanism and Organic Torah

I was happy to see David Brooks’ column yesterday, March 8, in which he brought together themes he has been writing on for a while: the power of emotions, our connectedness and essentially social nature. Themes that are dear to my heart and central to Organic Torah.  Here’s the link to his article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/opinion/08brooks.html?_r=1&emc=eta1 I […]

Welcome to Organic Torah

Dear Friends, Welcome to the new blog and website of Organic Torah.  I’m very excited to start Organic Torah as a non-profit educational organization, but more importantly, as a gathering together of voices and visions for a new direction in Jewish life, our human communities and the planet. As you’ll read in the posts and […]

The Three Mems

  Minyan, Mitzvah and Machlochet L’shem shamayim. I want to introduce something that I’ve been thinking about for awhile that has started to coalesce in the last few months into what I’m calling a “Natural, Jewish Theory of Education.”  “The three Mems” are not about Musketeers, but are shorthand for some core concepts in Jewish […]

High Fructose Corn Syrup, Swimming Pools, and Judaism

A few years ago I had a little brush with a food industry giant. I had written a positive review of Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma for Tikkun magazine, in which I agreed with his critique of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Soon I got a large package in the mail from a corn industry trade […]

What Is Organic Torah?

I often explain Organic Torah by saying its about “putting things together instead of taking them apart.” What do I mean by “putting things together?” And how does this relate to Torah? It may be instructive to start, not with torah, but with a short excerpt from an essay by Wendell Berry, one of the leading […]

Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro and Organic Torah

Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro, “The Piaseczner Rebbe” (1889 – 1943) is also known as the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto because he remained in the ghetto and continued to offer his leadership during the excruciating years of the war. He was from a renowned rabbinic family and was known for his progressive educational ideas and […]