Sukkot harvest
Two short teachings from the Baal Shem Tov

Eco-kosher babynaming

The Shalom Center has a beautiful new web design. The site is more easily browsable and searchable, and tags facilitate finding exactly what you're looking for. Kol hakavod to the Shalom Center!

There's also a new piece of content there from me -- an "eco-kosher" babynaming/welcoming ceremony, which I crafted as part of the Eco-Judaism course I took with Reb Arthur Waskow this summer and early fall. In order to help ensure that I was crafting something which would meet the expectations of the course, rather than working on our own son's babynaming on the sly when I should have been doing coursework, I chose to craft a naming ceremony for a girl. The ceremony aims to be at once a meaningful ritual opportunity and an environmental consciousness-raising tool. If you're interested, you can find it here: The Naming of Plonit.

("Ploni" and "Plonit" are the names given in traditional texts to unnamed individuals -- the rabbinic equivalent of John Doe and Jane Doe.) The formatting on the file wasn't preserved in its transition to the website, but the text is there, and I hope you enjoy it. And, as I said at the end of the introductory essay:

If this babynaming speaks to you, I invite you to use it, either as a whole ceremony -- or as inspiration for crafting your own! Re-use, remix, take it apart and put it back together again; this is how contemporary ritual creativity unfolds. My only request is that you continue to give attribution to the writers whose words appear in this document.

I'm a strong supporter of transformative works. You are always welcome to respond to anything I put out there in your own ways: write poems which dialogue with my poems, set my words to music, borrow from my ritualcraft to inspire your own. I ask only that you honor my work by making clear when you've borrowed from something I've created, and that you let me know what you've done so I can enjoy it too, because that's part of the fun.

Speaking of transformative works, the Organization for Transformative Works is having its biannual fund drive. If you believe that creative interpretation is an important part of culture, they might be up your alley.