This is the announcement and discussion list for the Pittsburgh havurah of the Pillar of Smoke, an alternative Jewish worship and learning group founded by S. L. Mastros, a scholar of some repute. We will be using it to distribute information about events (Purim parties, the Yom Kippur minyan, etc.), to solicit submissions when designing services, and to discuss whatever's of interest to the list members.
The picture to the right is from our 2007 Rosh Hashanah service, held in the tree circle at Frick Park in Squirrel Hill.
The rules of this list are simple but inviolate:
1. Treat everyone respectfully, regardless of their beliefs, choices or level of practice. Proselytizing will not be tolerated, nor will rudeness.
2. Free and open discussion is a hallmark of Jewish scholarship, so please try not to take people's statements personally, whether or not you agree with them.
3. Some topics discussed or rituals held may in some ways be considered "heretical", or at the very least, unusual. This is because we believe there is value in exploring every aspect of religious practice, whether traditional or nontraditional, ancient or modern. If something makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to express yourself; however, only an unusual number of objections to a threat (i.e., a majority of the list) will cause the thread to be closed by a moderator.
While that may sound a little severe at first, really it comes down to this - just treat your fellow list member with respect and everything will be fine. We look forward to talking to you all, and hopefully meeting you at some event or another.