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Although this is a crazy kind of region, I occasionally come across pockets of some deep logic which I appreciate and to which I can relate. Take the days of the week for example. Saturday is Sembu, also known as Sabbat, or Shabbat. How wonderful. Then the days of the Kurdish week unfold in a biblical fashion: Shabbat (and) one, Ek Sembu, Shabbat (and) two Du Sembu and so on. The Kurds kind of became stuck when it came to Friday and broke with their pattern using a word that is not related to the rest of the week, Heyni or Eyni depending upon one’s region but apart from that, Shabbat, Sembu was carried throughout the week.

Thinking of the presence of Sembu throughout the week took me back to another of my favorite “friends", Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who wrote “The work on weekdays and the rest on the seventh day are correlated. The Sabbath is the inspirer, the other days, the inspired.”

This week I will share with you a photographic journey of our inspired days this past week. Our week has been, as always, varied but as I browsed the myriad photos that we all take and share, I realized how many lives are being healed, and how many lives are being touched with radical joy as we journey through our week. There are indeed days of amazement, days of great wonder and gratitude, days when the heat is unbearable that it is enough to just be, and in that being there is blessing. Days when an idea that we bounced around as we box up chicken and rice, begins to take on a life of its own. Days when as we pause to look again, we realize that a sculpture or a project, began with just one thin word. There are days when we are low, heavy, disappointed but chose to pick ourselves up and keep going, because we saw a smile, heard the sound of laughter, because a former student returned with words of thanks. Days when the wonder and surprise break in and override all the difficulties.


Ek Sembu. Shabbat (and) one.

“Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe. Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things, without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all, I ask only to share the wonder of it all.” - Heschel.

Lunch going out to survivors of the fire

Psychological trauma debrief with camp police

First aid emergency response with camp police

Photography class

Play Therapy

Girl's spa afternoon


Du Sembu. Shabbat (and) two.