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…

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…

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…

Jewish Learning Might Save Israel and the World!

Jewish Learning Might Save Israel and the World!

London has a new mayor. He’s a husband and a father, the son of a bus driver, and a Muslim. His name is Sadiq Khan. I’m pretty sure that “Sadiq” is related to “tzedek,” the Hebrew word for “justice.” Before becoming…

Crawling to Peace (Memorial Day 2015)

Crawling to Peace (Memorial Day 2015)

One of the last books Jonah read before his death in 2009 was Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, about the author’s experiences as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam. I have wanted, and I recently found time, to read it….

Israel and the Palestinians: Piecing Together Peace

Israel and the Palestinians: Piecing Together Peace

In this week’s Torah parasha, Mass’ei, the Israelites are finishing up their forty years of desert wandering and are preparing to enter the Promised Land. “The Promised Land.” Promised by God, our tradition tells us. And further, we were not…

Of Rockets and Screaming Children

Of Rockets and Screaming Children

Note: I wrote this as the violence began escalating between Israel and Gaza. While events in the Middle East are dominating the news cycle, I didn’t want to abandon my excitement for speaking about camp and science and Jewish life. Nevertheless,…

When Does Night Become Day?

When Does Night Become Day?

in honor of Israel’s 66th birthday It was back in 2006 that Jay Leno observed what he called “positive news” from out of Israel. “Both sides are signing off on [President Bush’s] road map to peace,” Leno said. “The bad…

Women of the Wall

Women of the Wall

There’s an uproar in the world today. If you’ve been watching “Mad Men,” you probably missed it. Oh, if you were doing anything with your life, you probably missed it. It took place at the Annual Webby Awards which honor…

Israel and Gaza

Israel and Gaza

Thanksgiving weekend. An embarrassing overabundance of food, of football and of shopping. What’s not to be thankful for? Well, perhaps for one more gift: that Thanksgiving seems to be the most uncontroversial moment in America. Everybody celebrates it. Nobody complains…