Monday, February 12, 2024

Rhapsody In Blue (Gershwin)

Hello Grafted In Reader,

I am glad for your visit be it the first time or a seeming innumerable time. Today is Monday, February 12, 2024 in my corner of blog land.

It is also said to be the 100th anniversary for the composition, "Rhapsody In Blue" by the late George Gershwin. Hence, this post is titled to honor this man and his life in music!

This is also a planning session for this blog. I request your comments on the following over the next few weeks.

I am considering broadening the scope of this blog to include a monthly author update or newsletter. Below, is a sample draft of what is envisioned.

Would this be of interest to you, in addition to, or separate from our visits as they have occurred?

Proposed Sample Newsletter

David C. Russell


In 1996, John Larson released his musical titled, "Rent." A reflective song within the musical, "Seasons Of Love" points out that one year contains 525600 minutes. Engagement with this newsletter may require a minute amount of minutes on your part, but the content to be encouraging and inspirational, may leave significant impact on the minutes of your active life.

A Personal Snippet 

In my fourteen years of writing, three book titles are still available. Altogether titles are categorized as creative nonfiction. Two are anthologies, and the third is my autobiography. In addition, I have general fiction stories in random anthologies and at the website, The stories at this link are encouraging, realistic, and some inspirational and can be sampled at one's leisure. In common, my writing features Characters who face real challenges tailored to them, reflecting life's realities. 

Latest Title 

My latest title, "Human Being Human Doing" is a self-anthology of six short stories; characterizations include people from known history: King David, the family of Moses, a Jewish pharisee, a panel for an international webinar, Mary Magdalene and a fictitious person facing Judgment Day. UBL: For the EBook Https:// 


As we become acquainted, have you had an experience that would encourage or inspire another that we can collectively celebrate? In a sentence or two, please state the occasion, and perhaps use your initials or a pseudonym for credit. Example, DCR is celebrating the start of a newsletter as he approaches age seventy-two. Till next month, all the best to you and yours, 

David C. Russell:  

Note: Email address would be provided for response.

Return To Blog Post

In looking over the views for past blogs, the numbers satisfy me even though they range from single digit to double-digit. I view us as a small group that gather on occasion to encourage, inspire, consider something most ignore. 

Do let me know your thoughts via comments!

Until next visit, may the presence of HaShem guard your daily steps and walk.

Mellow Rock

David C. Russell, Author


Thursday, February 8, 2024

Stand By Your Man (country standard)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is February 8, 2023 in my corner of blog land.

We are blessed with "mild spring" weather today with temperatures nearing 50 degrees F, or 10 degrees C. As the sun is mostly prominent, it the recipe for spending time outdoors!

This morning, someone sent me a post I had applied to a social media site, namely Facebook, from the Union of Reform Judaism, on the day Donald Trump became the forty-fifth President of the United States.

The point of this post being, we are to hold our leadership up in prayer regardless our feeling about the one in leadership.

It's a lengthy post, but worth reading on occasion, and worth posting here as it is somewhat timely.

I will be back with more news in a couple weeks, but hope you will avail yourself the opportunity to read this essay.

Post Of January 21, 2017

Hello Facebook Friends and Readers,

I am an author and reader by avocation. Living in the USA, today is Inauguration Day of a new national leader, Donald J. Trump. Below, is a piece from the Ten Minutes of Torah, daily email by the Union for Reform Judaism to this occasion. It is something we may all derive benefit from considering:

Our Torah understands that the need for peace and prosperity transcend politics. No matter who’s in power, Torah takes an activist view of prayer and government. Even when we’re unhappy with what's happening, we’re instructed to pray.

The clearest instruction comes from Jeremiah. “Seek the peace of the city…and pray unto God for it.” (Jeremiah 27:9)

The Reform Jewish prayer book Mishkan T’filah offers a prayer for the government, an appeal to prophetic visions of peace and prosperity quoting Isaiah 58, with a focus on the role of citizens in creating a just society. It includes a general prayer: “Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion.” To supplement this core sentiment, I wrote the prayers shared here, both written in a classic siddur (prayer book) style.

These prayers attempt to answer two seemingly conflicting questions: How can we pray for the success of a government and president who many fear are all too willing to trample on ethics, personal liberties and social welfare programs? Yet, is it possible to bridge the gap between prayers that individuals with widely disparate views might say if specific politics were injected into the prayers? My test: Would these prayers work for any future president and government of the U.S? The answer: Yes.

The Torah teaches us that we must pray for the wisdom of our leaders and the quality of government, no matter our feelings toward specific politicians. Extraordinary times require extraordinary prayers.

For the U.S. President

God of history,

Bless the U.S. President with skill,

To act with inspiration and insight,

Becoming a visionary,

Building our nation and communities

In Your image,

A steward dedicated to justice,

So that our cities and towns

Resonate with compassion and health,

Justice and mercy,

Kindness and peace.

Bless our President

With dedication and foresight,

Fortitude and imagination

To solve the complex issues that threaten our future.

Let the weight of the office

Change him for the good.

Let the institutions of our government

Keep his worst instincts in check.

May he lead us to a time when neighbors embrace

And communities thrive,

A time when liberty and equality

Reign supreme.

Source and Shelter,

Grant safety and security

To all nations and communities,

So that truth and harmony will resound

From the four corners of the earth.

Let the light of wisdom

Shine brightly in the halls of power,

A beacon of hope

For every land and every people.

For Government

יקום פרקן מן שמיא

Yikum purkan min shemaiya

Let deliverance arise from heaven

Bringing justice and enlightenment

To the nations of the earth

And to the leaders of the United States,

חנא וחסדא ורחמי

Chi'neh v'chesteh v’ra’chamai

Bringing grace, love and compassion

To the halls of power,

The seats of government,

The capitals of our world.

יהי רצון מלפניך

Y'hi ratzon milfanecha

May it be Your will

To grant the heads of State

A new vision

For safety and prosperity,

Friendship and cooperation,

So that all may know

The fullness of Your blessings,

In a world of generosity and kindness,

Tranquility and peace.

הנותן תשועה וממשלה לנסיאים

Ha’notein t’shu’ah u’memshalah l’nosi’im

May You who gives redemption and governance to presidents,

Reward us with political leaders

With true vision and deep understanding

Of Your instructions to rebuild

And renew the earth,

So that economic, legal,

Social and environmental justice

May bear fruit

For generations to come.

“For the U.S. President” and “For Government” are © 2017 Alden Solovy and Reprinted with permission.

Alden Solovy is a liturgist, poet, and teacher. His teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud UK and synagogues throughout the U.S. Before making aliyah to Israel, Alden was a member of Beth Emet-The Free Synagogue, Evanston, IL, and a regular participant in worship at B'nai Jeshoshua Beth Elohim, Deerfield, IL. He’s the author of Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. His work also appears in several CCAR Press books, including a forthcoming anthology of his work, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day (Summer 2017).

The Presence of YHVH be with all of us in turbulent as well as glassy occasions.

Mellow Rock

David C. Russell, Author



Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Still Small Voice "kol demamah"

Hello Grafted In Reader

Today is January 23, 2024 in my corner of blog-land.

I am up before the emergence of dawn, and used the time to start reading a collection of essays by teacher and Rabbi, Raymond Apple of Australia.

Biblical People : Mandelbaum Studies in Judaica ...

Walmart › Books › All Books

About this result

This is a book of short essays on interesting people, events and themes in the Hebrew scriptures. An earlier book by the same author is New Testament People ...

His first portrait is of the Bible Prophet, Elijah. The phrase "still small voice" also described as a thin silence or quiet whisper is mentioned. HaShem speaks in a still small voice, not always but when so chosen.

When silence fills the room what do you hear?

It's an enlightening question to consider of oneself.

By the way, have you had a chance to look at my book title - "Human Being Human Doing"?  (See previous post)

I am working on a new title, "Moments with David" that are comprised of several personal short vignettes on life and such. I may publish this in late summer, 2024 at the earliest.

Until next visit, enjoy the sound of silence on occasion, kol demamah.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mellow Rock

David C. Russell, Authorr