our last Hanukka gift-to one another-was a cool record player with speakers within, that plays beautifully throughout. did we play Hanukkah songs? nope. we had to have an album to enjoy when the record player came. we picked Mumford & Sons, Wilder Mind. I would think that Mumfords would like that their album reflected the Menorah candlelight. these photos were taken while,”monster” was playing. a very holiday song. my son was practicing laying the needle down to play the song. the F-boom sounds so much better this way, then on my iPhone.
sorry that i’m having trouble writing, my BACK is on fire. I’ve been in bed during the day, for three days (while the kids were at school) this NEVER happens, but i have a vertebra that likes to pop out of alignment. it hasn’t done so in over a year. pain seems to limit air to my brain (more than usual) i think i did it when my washing machine walked into the kitchen. i tried to pull it back in to the laundry room. POP.ouch.
before this past Hanukkah is over & out of everyone’s thoughts, i wanted to share something that my friend & Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss.(Who had the audacity to move away to Texas. He has built from the ground up, his OWN Congregation. Congregation Shma Koleinu.)
I know people think that Alabama is the bible belt, but our Temple is big enough to employ two Rabbis & a wonderful Cantor (Cantor Roskin feels like my sister) It has a beautiful & loving history. We just Celebrated our 100th anniversary with Independent Presbyterian Church, they began in our Temple, until they could build their own Church, for 7 years. Amazing to think about this love & kinship in 1915 in Birmingham, Alabama.
When Rabbi Scott was put in charge of the Religious School, among his thousand other duties, he hired me as, ‘Artist in Residence’. I had this title during his time here. Of course that ended with his departure. While he was in Birmingham a few months ago, he asked me to photograph his gorgeous son, Abraham for his senior portrait.
he looks like James Dean, yes? i digress (all the time)
i still stay in touch with Rabbi Scott. i made him PROMISE to read my post titled, “i’m taking over Hanukkah” the image of my son’s motorcycle Menorah. he said he would. but i know him, because he is like me…too much going on in our heads to be able to finish things. So i told him it would be his Hanukkah gift to me to read it (oh, the power of guilt) amazingly he sent me a text that same night. Rabbi Scott told me to look at his Instagram account as well as his congregation’s Facebook page. WOW.
i’m going to write what he wrote (which means i’ll have to capitalize letters) diiiiigggrrreeessssing.first i gathered my kids together & didn’t tell them what i was reading, but because i started to cry half way through, they started listening, at the ending they pulled me into a double bear hug & told me how proud they were of me. sigh.
“Sometimes, you teach things that you really believe in, but don’t, yourself, live them with everything you’ve got. Too busy or too many ideas or, while the idea is a good one, the “teaching of it” for you becomes “the thing” more than the teaching. And anyone who has ever consistently been in a teaching position knows, or at least trusts that most often, no matter how great your teaching is, someone got something out of it. But it’s a rare moment when you discover a teaching that you have taught many times before, that you discover took root in someone in a far more powerful way than you had imagined yourself. For years, I have taught against the traditionalist’s, often defensive stance, that not only should we work very hard at keeping Chanukah and Christmas separate from each other in terms of meaning, but even in terms of significance. That Chanukah is just a minor holiday and therefore, not worthy of focus that feigns its importance, due only to its temporal proximity to Christmas. I believe that we shouldn’t shy away from Chanukah and that without the least potential for syncretism, we can indeed celebrate Chanukah big in “Jewish-chanukah-ish-meaning-filled” ways.
With this as prologue, please give yourself the gift of a few minutes to read this fantastic post, written by my friend, Amy Saab. Her blog, 2me4art is a great source of lyrical journaling and art inspiration with a sprinkling of theology, spiritual exploration and self-reflection. Enjoy! And Happy Chanukah!- Rabbi Scott”
out of ANYone in the whole wide world, this man taught me the most. we are so similar & passionate about what we do-that we sometimes acted like brother & sister (instead of employee & employer) & argue so often…i’m surprised i didn’t hurt him. on one occasion he made me so angry that i started to cry, in his office…he asks me, “want a tissue?” But when we were on the same page, it was awesome. He gave me the biggest & best art room in the world
While i was Artist in residence, i painted 30 8x10s for a Prayerbook
very cool, but so strange to think about it. then i worked on the Hebrew Alphabet for english speaking toddlers. He wrote poetry for it. That is a whole different post. Rabbi Scott ask me to create badges for backpacks that children would earn after each monthly meeting
watercolor….Shabbat. i also made some paintings for the hallway for our Temple Preschool–which have been thrown away:( i would KILL to have Mufasa back. but Papa Bear is wearing Rabbi Scott’s Shalom Y’all hat.
before he left for Texas, i was commissioned to paint our Temple for him, very near the time I was asked to do an 8×10 for an outgoing president. This is the last one i was asked to do. both are watercolor…the Temple is for Scott
This one was for Mackie, the outgoing president that same year.
and this is me & Rabbi Scott
and my son being carried by first, Scott-than his beautiful wife, Natalie.
Rabbi Miller is another absolute favorite Rabbi. He saved my life last year. I am lucky to have him. He wrote to say he read my Hanukkah post & that he agreed with me! So how amazingly lucky i am to have TWO Rabbis approve of my ideas on how to make Hanukkah BIG. ~amy