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

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…

What We Do With A Great Sorrow

It’s been a tough few weeks. A terrorist’s bomb took the lives of five Israelis vacationing in Bulgaria. A lone gunman took twelve more at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. We’ve responded with horror to the news, bereft for…

Katie Graduates from Teachers College (May 2012)

When my daughter Katie was little, she and I had a very important conversation. She told me that when she was grown up, she would always live at home. Her plan was to move, with her husband and her children,…

Blessings from a Bolt of Lightning

From January through June, I was privileged by my congregation to receive a sabbatical from my rabbinical duties. Among its many renewing experiences was a trip this past February to Israel. Ellen and Katie and Aiden and I, along with…

Where the Wild Things Are

It was the third day of our congregational trip to Israel. This time, we didn’t head straight to Jerusalem but spent our first days in Tel Aviv. We soaked in the stories of exciting beginnings at Independence Hall, stood in…

It Matters

These are words I shared with the Graduation Class of 2012, Woodlands Community Temple, White Plains, NY, on Friday evening, May 18, 2012. Billy This morning, I spent some time thinking about a five-year-old Aiden Dreskin waiting across the street…

Religion as Metaphor (or, at the least, as a Broadway Musical)

A couple of nights ago, my family was delighted to attend a cabaret performance by Sheera Ben-David at Feinstein’s in New York City. Besides the power and beauty of Sheera’s performance, she was backed by a band which included her…

By the Numbers

Years back, I read in The Washington Post (“The Shortwave and the Calling,” David Segal, Aug 3, 2004) about something really weird on the radio. In 1992, a guy named Akin Fernandez, who’s always been into collecting off-beat stuff, began recording middle-of-the-night broadcasts…