Skip to main content

A-Jewel-A-Day: Elul 6 - Josh Kornbluth

josh_kornbluth0134-E.jpg       Jewels of Elul VI - The Art of Beginning...Again
Editor's note: We are thrilled that you have joined us for this 29 day journey to Rosh Hashana. Please note that it is not too late for your friends a family to read past Jewels and join in the conversation by signing up here.

Elul 6
Candlelight by Josh Kornbluth

Talking about enlightenment -- at least in spiritual terms -- doesn't come easily to me.  My upbringing was totally, passionately, proudly secular.  We "modern" Jews held no truck with the "old fashioned" types who went to temple, spoke to God, became "enlightened."
Except ... I'm remembering one evening, back when I was five or so, when New York City -- my hometown -- experienced a blackout.  As it happened, the blackout occurred during the most awkward time of my week: when my dad "returned" me to my mom, who had won custody after a bitter divorce battle.  The handoff never went smoothly -- often there would be yelling, sometimes even tears.  As Dad and I rode the subway on our way to Mom's apartment, he would regale me with her failures as a wife, as a mother, as a human being.
But on this night our train -- and all the noises -- suddenly stopped.  And by the time Dad and I had made our way to Mom's apartment, walking for miles through sidewalks thronged with our fellow New Yorkers, it was quite late indeed.  What a shock it was to see how Mom greeted us: hugs and kisses for me and for Dad, tears of joyful relief!  Together -- together -- my parents lit candles, hunted down batteries, made snacks from our strangely silent fridge.
Was this -- in our family's own irreligious way -- a moment of enlightenment?  Looking back through the years, I see the three of us laughing in the candlelight and I say: yes.

Josh Kornbluth is a comic monologuist who lives in Berkeley with his wife and son. You can follow his doings at

Click Here for free music from Amazon, The Milken Music Archive and other great holy day inspirations.

Produced by Craig Taubman and  Craig 'N Co.  benefitting Beit T'Shuvah

Popular posts from this blog

To Kneel [a #Poem]

To Kneel 

(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditorfor Landingham & Kaepernick, our angels in the wings
Sometimes, it isn't about nuance.
Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm,
calling God out,
standing at the center of a whirlwind
holding your ground.

No cathedral is immune to agony,
no soul impervious to life itself no nation purely noble.
If it were any other way,
there would be no need for cathedrals
in the first place.

Kneel,  stand,  sit,  rise up.

To kneel is
to submit  to lower oneself  to step down  to pause.
To kneel is to call attention  to touch the Earth's face to listen to those  whose blood saturates  the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside  to step outside  to invite others to come closer  to remember.
To kneel is not to stand not to stand not to stand idly by.
Speak your truth,
God damn it.

That's what God wants most of all.

Then There Will Be Enough" - A reflection on this week's #Torah Portion. #toldot #life #wisdom