05 March 2021

Morning Minute Musing Series: #11-#20

Having posted yesterday on the first ten videos in my Morning Minute Musings Series, here are the next ten:

#11 - Learning a lot about dementia

#12 - Zoom Funerals

#12 (#2?) - One's own brand at work and social media policies

#13 - Excited to See Hospice Chaplains at the Senior Living Facility Where I work

#14 - Put Content Online

#15 - Social Media and Work

#16 - Work & work/life experience with different age groups

#17 - Working while fasting

#18 - Crossing streams on LinkedIn

#19 - Developing relationships with different demographics

#20 - CPE? Would love to! 

04 March 2021

Morning Minute Musing Series: Introduction & #1-#10

 Having provided a background context to my Morning Minute Musings series, here are the first 10, along with the introduction:

#1 - I Have Not Utilized Sefaria As Much As I Could Be: 
 #2 - Meeting Masked Faces When Starting a New Job: 
#3 - Wearing Masks: 
#4 - Sympathy for The Silent Generation's Lack of Technological Ability to Stay in Touch with the World:
#5 - ? 
#6 - It can be tough to see the lack of movement for seniors during the pandemic: 
#7 - Using Sefaria Source Sheets as Scaffolding for Writing: 
#8 - "Everyone Should Learn Real Estate" clip from Coffee & Commerce: 
#9 - An insight as to how to respond to "I'm sorry to have taken up your time": 
#10 - Moving into unexpected content territory for podcast: 

01 March 2021

Morning Minute Musings: The Origin

How and why did I create my "Morning Minute Musing" series?

Having done my "Few with Drew" series in the spring of 2020 after the outset of the "Coronatine", which allowed me to share a few things of what was going on on a daily basis during those early months of the global pandemic when we were just at home, I then began a new job, which took me out of the house.

As such, I didn't think it would be fitting to continue with my "Few with Drew" series, as I had now taken a new job, especially when so many people were losing their jobs. Moreover, the premise of "Few with Drew" was sharing what was going on while staying at home. Now that I would be heading outside of our house to work, it would not make sense to continue with the series.

However, I had enjoyed the process and sharing, so I came up with "Morning Minute Musing", which would be one-minute videos about work, working, and other professional activities.

Of course, due to my background as a rabbi, some of would relate to that; as a real estate agent, some would relate to that; and as someone working during a pandemic, some of it would relate to that.

I then began creating the videos, which I distributed to YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, followed by also eventually including TikTok.

While I haven't necessarily experienced high engagement with the videos online, sometime they yield some interesting engagement. For instance, my discussions of branding and rabbinic branding have led to some conversations about each of those topics with others, which I'm very excited to continue developing.

I hope to showcase these videos on this platform in the near future.

24 February 2021

Song of the Day as Second Temple Practice but Not Talmudic Practice

I recently came across this interesting excerpt dealing with the song of the day as practiced in the Second Temple:
...the daily Levitical songs (Pss 24, 48, 82, 94, 81, 93, 92) as recorded in a baraita appended to the end of m. Tam. as evidence.31 According to this baraita, the Levites would sing these psalms during the burning of the daily sacrifice. This passage provides proof for a rabbinic memory of a Second Temple practice, nothing more. There is no evidence that these psalms were part of daily rabbinic liturgy until well after the talmudic period (ca. 650). No talmudic discussion regards the recitation of these psalms as anything other than temple practice.32 Contrast this with other prayers that are initially imagined as part of temple ritual and are discussed elsewhere in terms of contemporary rabbinic liturgy, such as “True and Firm” (emet veyatziv) (m. Tam. 5:1; t. Ber. 3:6). The most compelling evidence for their absence in early rabbinic liturgy is the fact that even in the Geonic period these psalms appear to be non-liturgical.33 Seder Rav Amram Gaon strangely claims that one recites the baraita about these psalms and not the psalms themselves,34 and the prayer book of R. Sa╩┐adyah contains no mention of them. The earliest positive evidence comes from Maimonides’s prayer book, found at the end of his Book of Love, which claims: “And a small part of the nation has a custom to read after all of these supplications the psalm that the Levites would sing in the temple on that day” (section 34).35 Even in the time of Maimonides, the daily recitation of these psalms was nothing more than a practice of the few.36 The early rabbis clearly did not adopt the Song of the Levites into daily liturgy.37

-Abraham Jacob Berkovitz, "The Life of Psalms in Late Antiquity" (PhD diss., Princeton University, 2018), 165-166. 

And for those interested in the relevant footnotes, enjoy: 

31. On this appended baraita, see Epstein, Introduction to the Text of the Mishnah, 2:979.

32. Rabbinic sources lavish much attention on the use of these psalms in temple ritual. In what is no doubt an innovation, the rabbis argue that the daily psalm is an integral part of temple liturgy and that anything which can jeopardize its proper recitation must be fixed. M. Rosh Hash. 4:4 begins with: “Originally, they would accept testimony regarding the New Moon all day, but once the witnesses delayed in coming and the Levites said the wrong psalm.” The Levites had accidentally sung the song of the day instead of that of the New Moon. On proper psalmody as an essential aspect of sacrifice, see also y. Ta'an 2:2 67d, “Priests, Levites, Israelites and psalms can invalidate a sacrifice.” I plan on exploring this and other passages in a future study about Psalms in rabbinic memory. 

33. Robert Brody, “Liturgical Use of the Book of Psalms in the Geonic Period,” in Prayers That Cite Scripture, ed. James L. Kugel (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006), 75; Israel Ta Shma, “Sources and Place of the Prayer ‘It Is Upon Us to Praise’ in the Prayer Book,” in Book of Remembrance for Ephraim Talmadge, ed. Dov Lipschits (Haifa: Haifa University Press, 1993), 93–94. 

34. Daniel Goldschmidt, ed., Seder Rav Amram Gaon (Jerusalem: Mossad HaRav Kook, 1971), 40. 

35. On this, I follow Brody, “Liturgical Use,” 57, n. 59 that the mention of this custom in Sof. is a later addition. 

36. Who are these “few”? Is this a way Maimonides signals a common Palestinian custom? 

37. Fleischer, Prayer and Prayer Customs, 163 claims to find no mention or use of these daily Levitical psalms in any of the Genizah fragments he works with.

21 February 2021

Great Videos on Setting-up for Zoom Meetings by Julie Schiro

With the pandemic, there have been a whole lot more meetings on various teleconferencing software, including Zoom. Providing very helpful tips with regard to Zooming has been Prof. Julie Schiro. On her YouTube channel, she is providing really helpful videos on Zooming, with four videos thus far (I have also embedded these videos at the end of the post): 

While I have found these videos to be greatly insightful, I had been wondering why they appear so utterly infrequently? 

On Thursday, a Zoom discussion ("Online Fireside Chat") was held, featuring Prof. Schiro, entitled "How to WoW on Zoom & Be More Viral" (and recorded then published to YouTube), in which Prof. Schiro provides the background to her helpful videos.

In the online fireside chat, Prof. Schiro speaks on why she so infrequently publishes these incredibly helpful and insightful videos, which is some really fascinating background (props to the National Recruitment Federation for hosting this chat).  
One of the nifty tips she dropped in this discussion was about a really neat software called OBS, which allows one to adjust one's video output to Zoom, including adding in videos, pictures, and text. I began using it on Thursday and have found it to be really neat thus far. Prof. Schiro also mentioned in the talk that a forthcoming video on her channel will be on OBS, to which I am greatly looking forward.

I highly recommend these videos, since you may be doing a lot of Zooming these days, as well. Here are the four videos thus far:


Building a Home Studio:

10 February 2021

Discussing WandaVision Episode 5 (New Falcon & Winter Soldier Trailer) on MCU Podcast

Podcast Episode
I'm very excited to share that I was the guest on the fourth episode of the Fandom Podcast Network's True Believers Marvel MCU Podcast, which is available here:
While we focussed on the fifth episode of WandaVision, we also discussed the recently released trailer for Falcon & Winter Soldier, about which I am excited.  

Episode Clips

Here are a couple of clips from the episode:

  1. Is Vision Dead?
  2. Key Themes of WandaVision Ep. #5

And, yes, this is the first time that I have discussed the MCU on a podcast. Hopefully, it won't be the last....

08 February 2021

Excited for Falcon & Winter Soldier

With the trailer released last night for Falcon & Winter Soldier, I am excited for the new show: While I have previously done previous trailer videos for Star Wars, this is my first MCU trailer video.

07 January 2021

Removing "Try" From My Vocabulary

Growing up and watching The Empire Strikes Back, I had heard the Yoda saying of "Do or do not; there is no try", which I didn't care for and just wrote off as just being some interesting philosophical rhetoric. However. having taken a real estate course called BOLD in the fall of 2019, I had a very different insight into using this Yoda line.


One of the most powerful lines I heard was, "You can have either reasons or results, but you can't have both." This was so deeply fascinating for me because I had always valued effort, but this positioned effort in a different light: trying is good, but you're not trying something simply to try it, you want to accomplish something. While it comes to real estate, yes, results are ultimately what matters, but this is more broadly applicable far beyond simply real estate.

So now I've got into a place where who cares about trying anything, it's not actually accomplishing something. Did you actually do something or not? And if you don't, you're merely left with excuses, which shows a lack of responsibility. Ever since being exposed to this idea, I have realized that it's been about understanding my responsibility and not just generating excuses. It's about results.

Ultimately, that's my reflection back on that Yoda line from The Empire Strikes Back, which is that it's about getting something done, it's about results, it's not about having simply exerted some effort, but it's ultimately about what you are actually accomplishing. What are you actually getting done? And that is why I have been working on removing "try"/"trying" from my vocabulary for over the last year.


01 January 2021

Discussing The Jewish Drinking Show on Two Podcasts This Past Month

For the first time, I have appeared on a podcast, discussing The Jewish Drinking Show. Actually, two times now.

The first of these podcasts is the Designated Drinker Show, of which I was the featured guest on the 152nd episode and they even crafted a cocktail for the episode(!).

The second of these podcasts is the Let There Be Light podcast, on which I was a guest on the 28th episode of the show.

In addition to these two podcast guest appearances, I also, of course, hosted the 54th episode and the 55th episode of The Jewish Drinking Show.

04 December 2020

Shifting my Hot-Take Videos on the Second Season of "The Mandalorian" to Provide Background

After the very first episode of the second season of The Mandalorian, I realized I should create an initial reaction video - a hot take of sorts - and I did that, in a way that was like a preview piece, since I really wanted to avoid spoilers, because I was putting it out so soon after the episode's release (the same morning). 

However, when the second episode came out, I realized I didn't need to avoid spoilers, since most people watching the video probably already watched the episode (as they probably wanted to remain far away from spoilers), so I could just give my reactions and hot takes on the episode(s). And that's what I did for the next few episodes. 

When I got to the fifth episode, I realized I should probably mention something about Ahsoka Tano and Grand Admiral Thrawn so I mentioned them and where they had appeared previously. But, as I've been seeing online and talking to more casual Star Wars fans, they want to know what these references are - who are these characters? 

That is what has caused me to change my approach to these videos, and I am adjusting for the 6th episode that just came out this morning, and perhaps the 7th and 8th episodes, as well, in this second season. 

So, now, my series, due to what I'm hearing from friends and fellow fans, is now shifting into a little bit of a guide, a helpful resource to people who may be less familiar with the Star Wars universe, and to provide background on characters and other things that have happened.

So here is what I've published today as the sixth video: 

(And here is the playlist for my videos on the second season

(Related: this series is a result of publishing more Star Wars videos in 2020)