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Shabbat Shirah is on January 30th this year, and is another name for the week we read the Torah portion called B'shalach. In this portion, the Israelites have just been freed from Egypt and we read about the splitting of the Red Sea. Following this miraculous event, we find the first "song" in the Torah: Song of the Sea, or Shirat HaYam. The text changes from looking like typical prose, something like this article looks, with paragraphs and tabs, to a special symmetrical arrangement of text that we recognize as a poem or song. The text for this song resembles wavy lines, and is thus...

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The newest publication of the CCAR Press, Lights in the Forest: Rabbis Respond to Twelve Essential Jewish Questions, responds to questions about God, humanity and the Jewish People. CCAR rabbinic intern Andy Kahn recently interviewed the book's editor, Rabbi Paul Citrin.

Lights in the Forest is unique as an anthology of essays by a variety of authors on Jewish theological and philosophical questions. What spurred your interest in creating one?

A volume that made a large impact on me was something published by the American Jewish Committee in the mid-60s called the...

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When reflecting on his experience marching in Selma, Alabama with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel stated that he was “praying with my feet.” This act of transforming words and faith into action for justice and equality is a key underpinning of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as Jewish social justice – one of the many reasons why there was such a deep Jewish involvement. One of the core issues that the Reform Movement has in common with Dr. King is our mission to combat economic inequality.

Dr. King believed strongly that everyone should have access to a...

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I am from blintzes, from Crest toothpaste and kippot tucked into a dresser drawer.

I am from no eating in the bedrooms, singing all the time, comfy couches, a grandfather clock on the wall and challah French toast. 

I am from building a sukkah and hoping it doesn't rain and I am from baking hamantaschen each year from Aunt Dora's recipe. I am from oranges on the Seder plate and really big Havdalah candles. I'm from Birkat HaMazon in the back of the car on the way home from McDonald's. I'm from honey cake even though no one really likes it.

I am from wearing a hat...

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This is a prayer for the Jews of France after the terror attack on a kosher market in Paris. The prayer appears first in French followed by English. It’s an adaption of “For the Jews of France,” written in March, 2012, after the deadly anti-semitic attack in Toulouse. The translation was done by Genevieve Begue, a woman with an amazing amount of energy and joy for living whom I met during a winter 2012 ulpan at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. My deepest thanks to Genevieve for the translation and her continuing support of my writing. Ask others to pray for the Jews of France by posting...

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