Living in the Wake of Tragedy

Living in the Wake of Tragedy

Yesterday, two neighborhood kids came riding by on bicycles. A few minutes later, they came back the other way. A short time after that, they passed by a third time. It wasn’t until the fourth pass that I noticed one of…

Thanksgiving? or Apologiesgiving?

Thanksgiving? or Apologiesgiving?

Thanksgiving has always been a quiet affair for my family. Chalk it up, I suppose, to how much time I spend around here and perhaps that sheds some light on it. Truth be told, Thanksgiving is always a three-pronged experience…

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…

A Grocer's Tale

A Grocer’s Tale

What’s the story you want your life to tell? Each year, on Shavuot, we retell our people’s narrative of enslavement, liberation, desert wandering, and revelation at Mount Sinai. Whether we believe it really happened or not, it’s an extraordinary story….

Profound Wisdom from a Beautiful Lady and a Beautiful Song

Profound Wisdom from a Beautiful Lady and a Beautiful Song

Ellen and I were sitting at the piano, singing our way through an exquisite contemporary tune, entitled “Help Is on the Way.” We’d both fallen deeply for Nancy LaMott’s recording, and it was Ellen who contacted the composer, David Friedman,…

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…

Into the Fold

Into the Fold

I have a video Jonah made in which he (dramatically, and with a driving soundtrack, to boot) thanks a friend for teaching him how to fold t-shirts. We’ll not get into how he missed his parents’ instruction in that regard….

Expectant Mother

Expectant Mother

I read a beautiful article in the New York Times (“An Adopted Boy Considers His Origins,” Melanie Braverman, New York Times Magazine, September 3, 2010) about a five-year old coming to terms with the story of his birth and adoption. He…

Turning into the Rising Wind

Turning into the Rising Wind

This past February, on a family trip to Israel, we drove through the Hula Valley, an agricultural region up north that is especially fertile because of abundant fresh water. Our guide shared with us that the Hula Valley is a…

Munich 1972: Remembering for a Blessing

Munich 1972: Remembering for a Blessing

A story is told of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, the Kotzker rebbe (early 1800’s). The Kotzker once invited the distinguished Rabbi Yehiel Meir of Gostinin to blow the shofar in his synagogue. Rabbi Yehiel Meir came up to the bimah, picked…