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…

The B’nai Mitzvah Legacy of 9/11

The B’nai Mitzvah Legacy of 9/11

I imagine that for most of us, there is no story we have heard as many times as that of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, their forty years of desert wandering, and subsequent entrance into the Promised Land. Each spring,…

Israel and the Palestinians: Piecing Together Peace

Israel and the Palestinians: Piecing Together Peace

In this week’s Torah parasha, Mass’ei, the Israelites are finishing up their forty years of desert wandering and are preparing to enter the Promised Land. “The Promised Land.” Promised by God, our tradition tells us. And further, we were not…

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…

Into the Fold

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….

Katie Graduates from Teachers College (May 2012)

Appointment with Destiny

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

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…