The great Spanish essayist and philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset theorized the practice of reading through the metaphor of a garden and a window. Ortega noted that when we read, we can either “[focus] on the garden through the window…[or focus] on the window itself with its confused mass of color as if pasted on it.”
As we read our Torah portion this week, we would be wise to heed the advice of Ortega y Gasset. With anguish overwhelming the hearts and minds of Jews in Israel and across the world, it seems an...Read More
I've been greeting the mailman as if he were Brad Pitt these days. I practically attack him, and by now he knows why.
Three of our seven grandchildren - Carly, Danny, and Emily - are away at summer camp. While they have faithfully promised to write, the grand total so far, nearly halfway in, is one letter from one granddaughter.
Eleven-year-old Emily, suddenly tall and graceful and the wordsmith among our grandchildren, has sent a full description of life up there in the Poconos. The oft-occurring word: "Great!"
I adored it. And her mail made me yearn even more...Read More
All Israel are responsible for [the sins of] each other. – Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 27b
Spending a month in the US on an academic project, which began just as the latest flare-up between Israel and Hamas started, has given me a lot to think about.
Drinking latte on the Upper West Side and seeing Shakespeare in the Park between reading headlines from Israel creates a weird dissonance of guilt and worry, anger and… relief. Letters from home speak more of depression than worry, even though the worry never recedes from consciousness because I know that family and...Read More
Amidst the suffering and conflict occurring in too many parts of the world, the White House delivered good news and something to celebrate this week. Rabbi David Saperstein and I were privileged to be in the East Room of the White House yesterday morning to watch President Barack Obama sign an Executive Order prohibiting all companies that receive a contract from the federal government from discriminating against LGBT employees and adding gender identity to federal...Read More
Here’s a new prayer for safety of IDF soldiers during Operation Protective Edge. It’s based on a prayer called "For the IDF: Operation Pillar of Defense," which I wrote nearly two years ago for that conflict. Unlike the earlier version, this prayer specifically identifies Hamas and includes more specific prayers for the families of the dead and wounded. It also includes a prayer for peace.
For the IDF, Operation Protective Edge
We stand with the defenders of Israel. We honor the...Read More
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