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,…

On "Human Rights Shabbat," the Night Before Hanukkah

As we look toward lighting our first Hanukkah candle tomorrow evening, I have a story to share with you. Oddly, it’s a Passover story. But the message is perfect for tonight. And as an added plus, it gets us going…

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

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….

Partners Across Time: Woody Guthrie and Malala Yousufzai

When I was a little kid, growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, I remember that at Bond Hill Elementary School, in music class with Mrs. Bachs, we used to sing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” I’m afraid that, behind…

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

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,…