Hanukkah Gelt ... Ever-So-Sweetly Fomenting Dissent

Hanukkah Gelt … Ever-So-Sweetly Fomenting Dissent

Let me tell you about Hanukkah in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the 1960s. Cincinnati is where I grew up. And at this time of year, lots of families, lots of Jewish families, including mine, had Christmas trees. Hanukkah was a candle-lighting…

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…

Committed to Memory

Committed to Memory

Well, I took quite the stroll down memory lane this week. Ellen and I watched the film “Old Yeller” for the first time since I was maybe four years old. Fess Parker as the dad and Chuck Connors as the…

Lighting Up the World

Lighting Up the World

In this past weekend’s New York Times Sunday Review, an article appeared on the subject of lighthouses. James Taylor used to sing about lighthouses: “I’m a lonely lighthouse, not a ship out in the night, watching the sea. She’s come halfway…

When Does Night Become Day?

When Does Night Become Day?

in honor of Israel’s 66th birthday It was back in 2006 that Jay Leno observed what he called “positive news” from out of Israel. “Both sides are signing off on [President Bush’s] road map to peace,” Leno said. “The bad…

This Shouldn’t Be Extraordinary

This Shouldn’t Be Extraordinary

On Friday evening, February 28 (2014), something remarkable and beautiful happened on our bimah that I’ve never seen before. I hope I’ll see it many times again. A Muslim, in particular a Palestinian Muslim, participated in our Shabbat Evening service….

Who Is Perfect?

Who Is Perfect?

I can’t believe I missed it by one verse! I want to talk about Exodus 27:20, which turns out not to be from this week’s parashah, Terumah, but is the very 1st verse in next week’s parashah, Tetzaveh. Verse 20…

A Piano in Taksim Square

A Piano in Taksim Square

Opening Thought A woman out for a walk comes around a street corner and finds herself in front of an accident victim lying on the sidewalk. Grateful for the first-aid course she’d recently completed at her local Y, she later…

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…

On "Human Rights Shabbat," the Night Before Hanukkah

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…