Sign In Forgot Password

Communications Committee Chair, Lewis Lurie

The Writing Wall, a new addition to our website, is in development. Inspired by your Communications Chair, Lewis Lurie, and conceived by our Executive Director, Cynthia Weinstein, this will be an opportunity for writers among us - those already established and those aspiring - to “show their stuff”. You are all encouraged to submit your literary creations -  fiction, fantasy or factual, friendly or fearsome (poetry, as well as free verse) - to be posted on The Writing Wall in the “Events and Programs” section of the shul’s website. The creations will then be available to be perused, contemplated, discussed, and enjoyed by the Dorshei Emet membership and beyond. Themes and subject matter should be Judaism-related and should have a yiddishkayt flavour, for example, Dorshei memories, Reconstructionism, life-cycle events at the synagogue and in the wider community, Israel (cultural and historical rather than political), in addition to general religious and spiritual musings. 

Needless to say, this is a family- and child-friendly site, rated “G”! Posting will only be open to Dorshei members though the website is accessible to the public-at-large. This being a Reconstructionist synagogue, editorial guidelines are quite fluid and flexible. Therefore, chances are very good that your offering will be accepted. There is a limit of two submissions per member annually, with a maximum of 500 words per article. Send submissions to “”.


2023-08-22 Lewis Lurie-Sojourn in Safed

After my dad’s passing, in 1987, going through his personal effects, I found an old “Carte de Visite”, from 1901: it was my father’s parents’ wedding invitation, in Yiddish, from Kovno, Lithuania, with their engagement photograph. My grandfather’s name was written as Menachem Mendel Luria (an aleph at the end). I was already aware by then that Yitzhak Ben Sh’lomo Luria Ashkenazi, Ha’Ari Hakadosh, was a blessed figure to many, and, after finding that card, I wondered if there was a familial connection between this revered 16th Century Kabbalist, from Safed, and myself. How “Luria” became “Lurie” I’ll probably never know, but my assumption is that when my grandfather arrived here (in 1905), knowing hardly any English, and no French, the immigration-agent misunderstood his heavily-accented pronunciation of his name, and wrote “Lurie” on the entry-certificate. 

Skip ahead to April 27th, 2023, my wife Nicole and I, on our first visit to Israel, actually in Safed, with my cousin Yifat (a Sabra, living in Katzrin on the Golan), descending a path to the Old Cemetery built into the slope of Mount Canaan, the long, winding trail ultimately leading to the gravesite of Ha’Ari. Though “Ari” is “lion” in Hebrew, in this context it’s an acronym for Eloki Rabbi Yitzchak, “Godly Rabbi Isaac”, the aleph in “Ari” an abbreviation for “Eloki”, no other sage, reportedly, having had an aleph prefixed to his name, a sign of the esteem in which he was held.

Once there (my wife and cousin not permitted to approach the grave from the front, rather relegated to a waiting-area behind), I saw a number of men, as well as a group of young ultra-orthodox boys, all davening and shokeling, some touching the grave with their hands, others leaning over and pressing their foreheads to the azure-coloured stone, azure apparently the “signature colour of Kabbalistic Safed” (Wikipedia). While observing those men and boys paying their respects, I discreetly took some photographs, and tried understanding as best I could, with my rudimentary Hebrew, the many inscriptions on and about Rabbeinu Ha’Ari’s resting-place. I wouldn’t say I was suffused with emotion, or suddenly convinced that we were “kin”, but the very fact of being there at all, in and of itself, after those many years of wondering about a possible link between us, was immensely gratifying.

Eventually, the three of us headed back, ascending slowly in the heat. Then, at the moment we got up to the road, through an open window from one of the buildings there, astonishingly, a man started singing The Shema, ringing it out loud and clear. That - in combination with having just visited the grave of a venerated holy man, who may, conceivably, be a relative from the distant past - sent chills running up and down my spine!


2023-08-22 Maurice Krystal-Egg Shells

Stalling our way home from school we pause

At the door and smelled the burnt Sabbath chicken.


We heard the pots and pans furiously clanging.

The long hallway was a potential minefield.


My brother and I tiptoed carefully to our room

But she heard, as always, who entered her den.


Auschwitz’s ovens made her an orphan,

And she railed against God and the world.


Early in our lives we knew she wasn’t like

Other mothers who smiled on our Zenith TV.


I was seven when I hit my brother and his head

Hit the wall with a hollow thud as he fell.


 “It was an accident, I’m sorry.” I cried.

I cowered in the corner as towels turned pink.


Later, red faced, she turned to me and hissed,

“Is this what I raised? You’re worse than a Nazi!”


The words were a lash that left a scar

That to this day still lays on my heart.


Sun, September 24 2023 9 Tishrei 5784