Elul 9: And Yet ~ by Cantor Marshall Portnoy

What makes us different from or better than God’s other creatures? A cheetah is faster, a butterfly more beautiful, and a lion mightier by far. Scientists tell us that dolphins can laugh, elephants can exhibit altruism, and malamutes can love. Animals procreate and they protect; they grow ill and they die. But we alone know that we will do so. We exist, with the sure knowledge that one day, we will not. And yet we build bridges, read books, half-listen at cocktail parties, decide between puce and magenta, and cultivate flowers. Years from now, will anyone care what I was named or what I believed or what I wore to the movies?

We consider death as something that happens — or did happen, or will happen — to somebody else. But life is finite… read the full Jewel here.

Now in its eleventh year, Jewels of Elul Vol. XI: Ten Years of Inspiration is a booklet filled with short, inspirational insights from 29 contributors selected from our previous 10 editions.

To read through past issues and to order the newest, please visit For any questions, contact us by email at or by calling (818) 760-1077.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *