Last night millions of Jews and their friends sat around the Passover Seder table. At the center of the table is a Seder plate. Jewish tradition is very particular about what one puts on the plate
However, Judaism has survived (I know there are many who I’m about to annoy) because even our traditions have evolved. In the 1980’s, a certain famous Israeli Orthodox rabbi was asked what he thought of women becoming rabbis. His response was that there was as much chance of this happening as an orange appearing on a Passover Seder plate.
An Orange on the Seder Plate
Since then, the orange has become a symbol of woman’s rights and equality within the progressive Jewish religion. The rabbi of my congregation is a woman and I work in an organization that embraces women rabbis, many of whom serve as role models and sources of inspiration for me.
The orange has made our world a richer place…and don’t get me started on the benefits of Vitamin C!
I’ve just returned from my Black Friday Shopping foray. Mrs. Blog and I rose at 4am (Friday at the time of writing) and made some new friends outside the Office Max in Oxnard. Having secured our new treasure – a laptop for the lady – I came home and saw an email sent to remind me that Saturday (today) is Small Business Saturday. In a recent post, I wrote about the challenges of the endangered species – the small, independent business.
Today’s initiative is a great response to Black Friday. It is interesting that the day is being sponsored by American Express Credit Card Company – yes you read that correctly I went online to check it when I was told. Here is the Facebook page so it must be true!
Though I am 300 miles away, here are a few of my favorite local businesses in Berkeley.
1. Manhattan Bagels is over on 4th Street. There isn’t a lot to say – they have the best bagels in town, a great variety (check out the Cranberry Orange), and the service and parking is smooth.
2. East Bay Vivarium – when you’ve finished your bagel, why not pop over to the East Bay Vivarium. Okay, this is for reptile lovers, but I want to point them out because they care about their pets, even after you have purchased and taken the little critters home. As nervous new parents, my sons and I have often returned for advice from the staff, and they have always been happy to dispense from their wealth of experience. I am particularly impressed when someone says: “I’m not sure. Let me check with the others.”
Meet the beautiful, latest addition to our family – Nanchuk, a Crested Gecko.
3. The Bread Workshop – I realize I’m pushing the carbs here, but this a great place to eat, to hang out for coffee, and to feel good with a vendor using a fair amount of local products and organic ingredients. I might be biased since they hosted the book launch of my previous incarnation of The Accidental Activist, but this really is an excellent example of a business that aims to be sustainable. You can find The Bread Workshop at 1398 University Avenue.
4. Out of the Closet – This is a thrift store (there are a few around the Bay Area) on University. The thing about this place is that there always seems to be something to surprise you and this probably explains why it is a favorite venue in the run up to Halloween. It also helps to know that Out of the Closet supports AIDS projects and was set up by one of the all-time basketball greats – Magic Johnson.
5. Rasputin Music – is an icon up on Telegraph Avenue. They have a great stock of discs at affordable prices. I’ve also picked up several movies here.
So while you plan your day, here is the latest offering from my favorite musician, Lloyd Cole. I can’t think of any reason to link the song to the article, I’m just excited that he has a new disc out!
And while you are here, why not list below in the comments your favorite local, small business, and give them a plug.