How I Spent My Summer Vacation

In case you didn’t know, it’s the Hebrew month of Elul. These are the four weeks leading up to the High Holy Days, a time when most Jewish families are thinking about, well, probably nothing having to do with the…

Life's Ninth of Av's

I have a story to tell you. It’s about a tiny bird. I’ll come back to that. Tisha b’Av has been set aside as a day for the Jewish community to remember the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple two thousand…

Father's Day: Contemplating American & Immigrant Dads

As I wrap up a perfectly lovely and loving Father’s Day, my children are nowhere nearby but I have had wonderful phone conversations and know that they are well. Before I can put this day to bed, I feel compelled…

The Curse of Blessings

What’s the best terrible thing that’s ever happened to you? Is it some food you thought you hated, but someone made you try it and you liked it? Or did you have to go somewhere to which you desperately wanted…

Where Was God Then? Where Is God Now?

A horrific story of the Holocaust to share with you. Many of you will know it. Young people might not. But it describes just one small, terrible moment during which only three people died, which was pretty benign for genocide….

Kids in Action

There’s a story about a kid named Sammy who was walking along feeling sorry for himself because his family had recently moved to a new town, he hadn’t made any friends, and his parents seemed to be busy all the…

Celebrating Purim in the #MeToo and Post-Parkland Era

It’s the season of Jonah in our home – his birthday is February 14, his yahrzeit is March 5, and his Concert is March 10. Since he’s on my mind, no reason he shouldn’t be on yours as well. So here’s…

Mentors

The big news for me this week was the resignation of Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It appears that not only did her personal investments present a conflict of interest – not cool…

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

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…