“Don’t forget to sing!”

Tucked away in a little courtyard off HaRav Kook Street in Jerusalem, is the Museum of Psalms. This tiny building houses a collection of massive paintings by Rav Moshe Tzvi HaLevi Berger – the Museum was established under the patronage of the former Rabbi of The Kotel, R. Yehuda Meir Getz. Inspired and encouraged by […]

Birds Matter

In 2013, the editors of Audubon Magazine posed the question, “Why do birds matter?”. One of my favorite responses was this: No other creature can transcend earth, evoke beauty, inspire dreams, and ground us in nature as does even the smallest bird. –Julie Sacco, Director, North Park Village Nature Center. I’ve been reading two fascinating […]

“. . . and I carried you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Me.”

…וָאֶשָּׂא אֶתְכֶם עַל כַּנְפֵי נְשָׁרִים וָאָבִא אֶתְכֶם אֵלָי (Shemot 19:4) This is my favorite verse in the Torah. The wings of eagles provide other examples of powerful yet loving imagery in the Torah: Devarim 32:11. “As an eagle awakens its nest, hovering over its fledglings, it spreads its wings, taking them and carrying them on […]

The Sparrow

The Sparrows’ boisterous song reverberates through the narrow winding stone streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, and seems to grow louder as you approach the Kotel. Its lively sound is nearly as ever-present along the shores of the Yarkon River, near where the River flows into the Sea, part of a loud, mixed chorus […]

From Perek Shira

Perek Shira (פרק שירה) is a little gem of a book, an ancient source believed to be at least 1800 years old; some say it is perhaps even older, written by King David or King Solomon.  Known as The Song of the Universe, or The Song of Creation, Perek Shira is a collection of 85 […]

Welcome to the Birds of the Kotel

Every spring, the Swifts return to nest in The Kotel. It is an incredible story, as the Common Swift is an uncommonly remarkable bird! They are superb aerialists – they eat, sleep and even mate on the wing. This spring I just missed the Welcoming Ceremony (see video below from 2012), but was fortunate to […]

Niggun of the Birds – R. Shlomo Katz

My first encounter with Rabbi Shlomo Katz was in a class at Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo in the charming Nachlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem. He began and ended the shiur with a niggun, and his voice and guitar were beautiful to hear. Not long after, I saw Katz perform before a huge crowd at the 15th Annual […]