A Mixture That Must Happen: Tears of Sadness for the Tree of Life Family and, Eventually, Tears of Joy for Our Own

A Mixture That Must Happen: Tears of Sadness for the Tree of Life Family and, Eventually, Tears of Joy for Our Own

I presented this on Friday evening, November 2, 2018, one week after the Tree of Life murders in Pittsburgh. Months ago, and I don’t really understand how, Jedd and a quite-pregnant Tiffany Chesterson scheduled a babynaming for tonight. Didn’t they…

You Never Know What a Guest Might Bring!

You Never Know What a Guest Might Bring!

This d’rash was presented on Fri, Oct 26, 2018, at Temple Sinai in Stamford, CT, when Woodlands Community Temple was invited to participate in a spiritual-cultural exchange, sharing with them the music of our service, “A Joyful Noise,” as well…

Refugees Welcome!

Refugees Welcome!

This d’rash was presented as part of our synagogue’s observance of HIAS Refugee Shabbat. At the end, there is a letter that can help a refugee near where I live to remain in the United States with his family. Please…

With Another Quarter

With Another Quarter

Bereshit, the first chapters of Torah, tells the Jewish people’s story of Creation, opening our eyes to the many avenues for interpreting and understanding how (and why) the world came to be. Then there are our own Bereshit moments — when the…

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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

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

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

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…

Kids in Action

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…

Mentors

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…