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Adjusting inner margin (gutter) width in PDFs intended for bound printing

I sought without success for instructions on how to modify the gutter width, to adjust the inner margins of pages in a PDF so that they may be printed properly. So I had to figure it out myself. This is the solution I’ve devised for use with Adobe Acrobat Professional. . . . → Continue reading: Adjusting inner margin (gutter) width in PDFs intended for bound printing

Further thoughts on prayer as media and praxis

I would like to add to what many people are saying about the vacuous offering of “thoughts and prayers” after deliberate, predictable, and avoidable tragedies, without, I hope, sounding contrarian. Immersed as I’ve been for the last decade in prayer literature directing the Open Siddur Project, I want to say something in general about prayers, . . . → Continue reading: Further thoughts on prayer as media and praxis

Open-source Judaism and Charting the Course of the American Future, an essay for Kenissa: Community of Meaning Network

Rabbi Schwartz asked prospective participants in his “Kenissa: Community of Meaning Network” to respond to his chapter, and in particular how our initiatives are aligned with one (or more) of the four propositions he offers to heading off the crises facing the American Jewish community, and in what ways they advance an area of Jewish life or practice outside of those propositions. Here was my response as founding director of the Open Siddur Project and co-founder of Open-source Judaism. . . . → Continue reading: Open-source Judaism and Charting the Course of the American Future, an essay for Kenissa: Community of Meaning Network

First thoughts after viewing Blade Runner 2049

My friend Brian and I viewed BLADE RUNNER (henceforth, BR2049) last Thursday. Our discussion, animated by a bit of delirium on my part (dehydration plus lack of sleep), helped to process my lingering combination of amazement and disappointment following end credits. (I’ll give a half-hearted spoiler alert now — the sort I’d appreciate before being . . . → Continue reading: First thoughts after viewing Blade Runner 2049

On the Meaning of Mimouna

In 2007, Dr. Yigal Bin-Nun wrote a provocative article in Haaretz הארץ on the origins of the Moroccan Jewish post-Passover festival of Mimouna. In the article, Bin-Nun speculates that Mimouna was a Judaized festival originally derived from local customs celebrating gods of Fortune. I wish to present an alternate thesis which provides more of the Jewish context for Mimouna within the mytho-historical arc of the Exodus narrative. . . . → Continue reading: On the Meaning of Mimouna

The Mythic Arc of Predatory Desire in Jewish Legend: primary sources on the origin and end of predation

In advance of this year’s Hazon Food Conference I’ve prepared a source sheet packet containing text arranged to elucidate what I’ve called the Mythic Arc of Predatory Desire in Jewish Legend. . . . → Continue reading: The Mythic Arc of Predatory Desire in Jewish Legend: primary sources on the origin and end of predation

Wherever I live, that is my ‘Homeland’ — a Response to Zionists on the Jewish and Christian Right

For the last several years I’ve become concerned with a movement on the right, an alliance between Christian Zionists in the U.S. and Israel’s Likud party-flavored right-nationalist Zionism. Something I heard Sarah Palin say back in 2009 in an interview with Barbara Walters raised my eyebrow and Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic was quick to . . . → Continue reading: Wherever I live, that is my ‘Homeland’ — a Response to Zionists on the Jewish and Christian Right

A Simplified Summary of Public Domain Status for Creative Works in US Copyright Law (excluding audio works)

A Simplified Summary of Public Domain Status for Creative Works in US Copyright Law (excluding audio works) – Aharon Varady (CC BY-SA)

Among the many things I do in my work for the Open Siddur Project, I create digital copies of works in the Public Domain. These copies then serve as the basis . . . → Continue reading: A Simplified Summary of Public Domain Status for Creative Works in US Copyright Law (excluding audio works)

Uncle Isak’s Story: A young man journeys down an endless road… (from Fanny & Alexander, 1982)

A story told by Isak Jacobi (Erland Josephson) in Ingmar Bergman’s FANNY & ALEXANDER (1982-1983). . . . → Continue reading: Uncle Isak’s Story: A young man journeys down an endless road… (from Fanny & Alexander, 1982)

Full lyrics and video for “Unity of Oppression” by CONSOLIDATED

CONSOLIDATED – “Unity of Oppression” (1991, Friendly Fa$cism, Nettwerk/I.R.S Records) Adam Sherburne (guitar and vocals), Mark Pistel (samples, sequencers and keyboards/synths), and Philip Steir (drums). . . . → Continue reading: Full lyrics and video for “Unity of Oppression” by CONSOLIDATED