After the Deluge

After the Deluge

Of all the stories in the Torah, Noah’s is perhaps the most loved of them all. After all, who can resist the image of all those furry, adorable creatures ascending into the Ark, two by two, and living in harmonious…

Hurricanes Are Bad for Our National Nastiness

Hurricanes Are Bad for Our National Nastiness

I’ve been on the phone every day this week with my brother Jimmy. He was supposed to be here tonight, sitting with you and with his family at this service, and enjoying the Kabbalat ShaBBQ afterwards. But Jimmy lives in…

Committing to Memory

Committing to Memory

Last weekend, Ellen and I traveled northward to Buffalo where Ellen was officiating at the 2nd wedding ceremony of two very dear men who wanted to marry under the newly-legal auspices of New York State. We joined them on a…

Eclipsing!

Eclipsing!

This was a busy summer. A lovely summer but a busy one. Family reunions, weddings, and trips to Brooklyn filled many of my days while I was away. And the eclipse of course. By far, however, my very favorite was…

“Come Then, Put A Curse Upon This People”

“Come Then, Put A Curse Upon This People”

In this week’s parasha, Balak (Number 22-25), we read of the king of Moav who, seeing what Israel did to the Amorites (asking permission to pass through their land and, refused, wiped them out), resolves to avoid that happening to…

Read A New Book, Think A New Thought, Make A New Friend

Read A New Book, Think A New Thought, Make A New Friend

Twenty eight years ago, I moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where, for six years, I served as one of the rabbis at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple. I was fortunate to be there while their emeritus rabbi, Arthur Lelyveld, was still alive….

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…

As The Trump Presidency Begins

As The Trump Presidency Begins

For our Shabbat Evening Service at Woodlands Community Temple (Jan 20, 2017), Inauguration Day, we invited congregants to write iyyunim (directed thoughts about a number of prayers) on the theme of “America: As the Trump Presidency Begins.” The assignment was…

Thoughts for a New Year

Thoughts for a New Year

In 1893, a a 17-day “Parliament of the World’s Religions” was held in Chicago, Illinois. At the convocation’s opening day events on September 11, a young man named Swami Vivekananda, representing the nation of India as well as the Hindu…

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…