We stand together Before Adonai our God To enter the brit Deuteronomy 29:9,11 - You stand this day, all of you, before Adonai your God ... to enter into the covenant ... which the Eternal your God is concluding with you this day. We read Parasha Nitzavim on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashana, as we prepare for our annual period of reflection, repentance, and return. How appropriate that the portion begins with a statement that we stand together - all of us - before God. Our High Holy Day liturgy, with the use of the first person plural in confessional prayers, reminds us of our... Read More
As the High Holidays approach, forgiveness is on all our minds. When it comes to confronting a person who is doing something wrong or hurtful to us, the Torah commands, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall surely rebuke your fellow and not bear sin on his account” (Leviticus 19:17). So how should we go about it?
Rabbi Ruth H. Sohn of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion explains the importance in Jewish tradition of holding up the mirror of truth to others and to ourselves. She also offers 10 pointers on mastering...Read More
After the recent passing of Israeli President Shimon Peres, z"l, I'm remembering the time I sat down with him in a Manhattan midtown hotel in 1994 at the beginning of the Oslo process to discuss the peace process.
A comprehensive peace treaty was within grasp 20 years ago. In fact, the key players – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat – shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize in anticipation of the Oslo Accords ushering in an era of peace. That hopeful moment was derailed by the...Read More
I live in Los Angeles and have lived here for the better part of the last two years. My entire family, however, lives in Chicago. And, for the third time since moving here, with Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur upon us, I have found myself buying plane tickets to get me from LA to Chicago twice in 10 days for both holidays.
Why would I do that, you ask? There are incredible Reform synagogues on the West Coast, with wonderful rabbis – many of...Read More
My consciousness of my special identity as a Jew as it relates to athletics began in the 1950s, when, on a Rosh HaShanah afternoon, I heard the mellifluous voice of the great Red Barber say, “The old familiar number 31 of Brooklyn first-base coach Jake Pitler will be missing today, as he is observing the Jewish new year and is not in the ball park.”
My consciousness of Jews in American sports developed further during many an oneg Shabbat at my...Read More