Picture this: The setting was a dining room on the East Coast on Friday, October 31st, sometime in the late 1990s. It was dinnertime, and the father of the family was seated at the head of the table while the mother scurried back-and-forth between the kitchen and the dining room. Joining them at the dinner table were their two daughters, ages 12 and 15, and two guests.
As the father stood and raised the Kiddush cup - Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu -
the doorbell rang. He continued with the blessing - melech haolam borei - but when the doorbell rang again, everyone at the table...Read More
"Knock, knock." "Who's there?" "Russia." "Russia who?" "Russia Shana."
My mother's curse came true: I have children "just like me."
With imported parents and imported children, I'm the native-born pastrami between two slices of naturalized rye. My parents were born Jewish in Germany; my Asian-born kids converted. Not that they had a choice, of course; their dad and I took them to the mikvah (Jewish ritual bath) well before they hit the age of reason. Our son's...Read More
Almost as soon as the Central Conference of American Rabbis' conference began in June of 1964, the presiding rabbi stepped forward with an urgent telegram from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. King needed rabbis to take part in demonstrations against the segregated city of St. Augustine, FL, and he needed them immediately. The next morning, 16 rabbis and Al Vorspan, then-leader of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, were at the airport, answering King’s call.
In St. Augustine, these 17...Read More
The number of months, with God, is 12 in the Book of God, the day that He created the heavens and the earth… The month postponed is an increase of unbelief whereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make it profane, and hallow it another…
The media were ready for blood during the days leading up to Yom Kippur this year, as the holiday fell on the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid el-Adha. Given the fraught atmosphere between Jews and Arabs that was created during...Read More
It’s not often I can draw from a Saturday Night Live skit to help teach my students a lesson at Atlanta’s Davis Academy, where I am an educator. This past summer at URJ Camp Coleman, one of my colleagues constantly quoted and imitated Kristin Wiig’s “Target Lady” character’s skits, proclaiming in her histrionic, high-pitched voice, “Stereotype busted!” Although this pop culture reference may have gone over the heads of most of my 7th grade students, the use of the phrase prompted a flood of responses to this question: “Where do...Read More
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