An Irish Blessing for Tough Times

An Irish Blessing for Tough Times

While preparing dinner, mom asked her child to go into the pantry and fetch a can of tomato soup. But the little boy wouldn’t go in alone, saying, “It’s dark in there. I’m scared.” To which his mom responded, “God…

Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

For four weeks, the Torah is fairly consumed with the story of Joseph and his brothers. That’s a lot of Torah time. Abraham, who’s probably the Torah’s 2nd biggest superstar, only get three weeks of parashiyot. And Moses, the undisputed…

What's Up With Elul?

What’s Up With Elul?

Ludwig van Beethoven lived from 1770 to 1827. During those fifty-seven years, he composed a ton of music. When he was 28, in a fit of rage he fell and stood up to discover he’d gone deaf. For twenty-nine more…

The Wilderness of Our Lives

The Wilderness of Our Lives

This week’s parasha is Re’eh. It comprises chapters 11-16 in Deuteronomy, and takes place at the end of the forty years in the wilderness. Moses is preparing the Israelites for life in the Promised Land, reminding them of God’s most…

Reflecting on the 1st Yahrzeit of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC

Reflecting on the 1st Yahrzeit of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC

Orlando. Dallas. Baton Rouge. So many acts of gun violence since, a little more than a year ago, on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof entered the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, spent an hour with the community there…

Rewards and Blessings

Rewards and Blessings

Maybe two years ago, Tyler Levan, who’s now nine years old, walked into his parents’ bedroom shortly after they’d tucked him and said, “I’m afraid of the monsters and bears.” Don, Tyler’s dad, then did what his father had done…

An Akhashverosh for Our Time?

An Akhashverosh for Our Time?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That’s the first amendment to the United States Constitution. Thomas Jefferson called it “a wall of separation between church and state.” We Jews love…

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Zeke and May had been married for over seventy years. Zeke was 101 years old and his wife was 99. One hot afternoon, as they sat together on their front porch rocking away, the old man, who was nearly deaf,…

Shed a Lotta Light!

Shed a Lotta Light!

There’s a very old Jewish story about a woman who’d pretty much had it up to here with her life. It seemed she had nothing but tzuris and couldn’t find a way through the mess. So she went to see…

The Honor of Being Alive and Part of Creation

The Honor of Being Alive and Part of Creation

Holmes and Watson go on a camping trip. After dinner and a bottle of wine, they lie down for the night and go to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at…