Many thanks to Michael J. Totten for some stimulating conversation, and for the link. Thanks also to Judith at Kesher Talk for the encouragement and the linkage! And thanks especially to the many visitors from these two major bloggers, as well as to my regular readers. I hope my site does not diappoint.

Readers who contacted me in my comments section, in Michael's, and via e-mail: I'll start putting together an e-mail list for "liberal hawks" in the Portland, Oregon area. I've been very encouraged by the response on this, and I think it might be fun to meet in person for dining, movies, and political and/or non-political chat.

My schedule this week will be dominated by studying for my physics final, but I do expect to find time to post (as well as starting the aforementioned e-mail list).

Next Tuesday evening, I'll be attending a talk by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi ("Reb Zalman" to his followers), who is generally regarded as the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement (along with the late Shlomo Carlebach, the charismatic cantor). Special thanks to Gila for notifying me about this event! For those not familiar with it, Jewish Renewal is a loosely affiliated group of individuals and organizations pursuing a semi-traditional approach to Jewish spirituality and mysticism. The movement also includes Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Rabbi David Zaslow, and Michael Lerner of Tikkun magazine. I'm not affiliated with JR, but I have greatly admired Kushner's books and Zaslow's essays. I'll post my impressions of the Reb Zalman talk next week.