[Newsletter] August 23 – Questions and Answers

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New York, NY
August 23rd 2012 / 5th Elul, 5772

Dear All,

It’s the dog-days of summer, but also the pre-season for the New Year. College students are moving into new dorms; rabbis are getting ready for Rosh Hashanah sermons. The shofar is blown at the start of morning services. The political conventions are about to happen. A new 7+ year daf yomi cycle is underway.

And I find myself thinking about questions and answers. In a few different contexts, in the last week or two, I was either revising educational materials, or else meeting with Jewish institutional leaders and talking about the forthcoming shmita (sabbatical year), which starts on Rosh Hashanah 5775 (2014).

Old models of pedagogy, and old models of orthodoxy – Jewish, Christian, and Western – tended to focus on answers and, in particular, the right answers. More recent ones nominally emphasize questions – “the question is more important than the answer,” etc.

I’m struck by how corrupting it is when people ask rhetorical questions, or questions to which they seek to elicit a particular answer. If you know the answer, why ask the question? Don’t waste my time. Or don’t pretend that you’re respecting my opinion, when really you’re not.

I think this is especially a problem in certain parts of the liberal Jewish world. I was going through some educational materials last week and I was trying to drill in to questions that are real questions. I think we do this too infrequently. Follow this link to continue reading about my “questions and answers…”

Shabbat Shalom,


Nigel Savage
Executive Director, Hazon

P.S. A huge mazal tov to our Cross-USA Riders, who cycled in to DC last week – an incredible achievement. And if you want to push yourself a little – in a warm and supported environment – now’s the last moment to sign up to join me at the Hazon New York and the Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride.


Last Chance to Join Hazon
for Labor Day Weekend

The Hazon New York Ride is only a week away!

You don’t want to miss the Hazon New York Ride,August 31-September 3, 2012. Join us for the whole weekend, just for shabbat, for a one-day rideas a rider, or as crew. Limited space is available.


NEW! At this year’s New York Ride, we’re able to offer a low-cost housing option. Registration is only $100 if you bring a tent and share showers and other facilities (use the discount code “tent”).


[Image]If you can’t join that weekend, meet us at the finish line for closing ceremonies at theJewish Theological Seminary. Friends and family are invited. JTS is located at 3080 Broadway at 122nd st, New York, NY. Riders will arrive on Monday, September 3rd between 2 PM and 4 PM.
Learn More | Join Us for the Weekend | Sponsor a Rider

Food Conference Registration Increases September 5th

The annual gathering place of the New Jewish Food Movement

[Image]The Food Conference will take place over Shabbat Hanukkah, December 6th-9th at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Space is extremely limited, and we will sell out. Register today!

Program highlights include:

Learn more about this year’s program tracks for a taste of what’s offered.

Learn More | Register Today

Bike Israel from Top to Bottom

The Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride
October 30 – November 6, 2012

[Image]Israel is beautiful this time of year and there’s no better way to see it than by bike. There are routes for all levels of riders which are fully supported with rest stops, mechanics, and lead riders.

We offer the best overnights, food, and support of all the Israel bike tours!

  • Fundraising discounts available for second family members, riders under 35, and riders on their first trip to Israel
  • Scholarships available for riders on their first trip to Israel or first visit in at least five years
  • Flights to Israel from the east coast are around $1200 right now ($1000 with a layover in Europe)

Learn More | Join the Ride

Maimonides At the Farmers Market

This article was originally posted on The Jew and the Carrot

By Alexa Weitzman

[Image]Imagine this: you’re at your local greenmarket vegetable stall picking out a beautiful green speckled summer zucchini. Standing next to you is a man choosing his summer bounty. You begin to discuss recipes, and he explains his approach to summer vegetables. “Keep it simple,” he says, and continues to describe his plans for the zucchini he just picked up, “I’m going to slice it thinly and drizzle with good quality vinegar”.

Who are you picturing standing next to you in this scene? An up-and-coming farm-to-table chef? A food-blogger? In fact, you are speaking to Maimonides, the 12th Century Jewish scholar and physician, and he is explaining to you his philosophy of summer seasonal cooking.

Continue Reading “Maimonides At the Farmers Market…”

Alexa Weitzman is an acupuncturist in Queens and Long Island, NY, and writes a food blog, sustainablepantry.com, highlighting local, seasonal food. She is obsessed with educating people on traditional diets and their healing powers.

Honor Your Loved Ones with a Tribute Gift

Help build a healthier and more sustainable community.

This Rosh Hashanah, consider making a tax-deductible donation to Hazon in honor of those in your life who care about creating healthier and more sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond.

We’ll send a card to your loved one in honor of another individual or special event. Simply fill out the “honoree details” at the bottom of the donation form.

Support Hazon and Honor Someone Today

Living the Seasons:
Jewish Families in Nature



Developed for families with children ages 5-13 of all Jewish backgrounds and experiences, this new series allows families to connect to each other, the Denver Jewish community, and to nature, through Jewish tradition and values. All families will receive a copy of Spirit in Nature: Teaching Judaism and Ecology on the Trail, by Matt Biers-Ariel, Deborah Newbrun, and Michal Fox Smart, which will be used as a guide to this series.

This four-part series begins September 23rd.

  • Part 1, September 23rd – Fall Harvest
  • Part 2, January 26th – Winter: Tu B’Shvat Havdalah
  • Part 3, May 5th – Spring: Garden Experience
  • Part 4, August 9th-August 11th – Summer: Family Camp

Learn More and Register Today