On Yom HaShoah, which falls on April 28, I will remember the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust – and I will be thinking about a little town in the northeast corner of Lithuania, and a white-haired man searching for a way to pay his respects to the dead.
Rokiskis (Rakishok in Yiddish) is a town of 16,000 people, famous for its cheese, where my Jewish family tree extends back many generations.
My grandfather Yankl ran from this town in 1911, escaping the Tsarist draft. Many of my forebears stayed...Read More
O Heavenly One, Protector and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel which marks the dawning of hope for all who seek peace. Shield it beneath the wings of Your love; spread over it the canopy of Your Peace; send Your light and truth to all who lead and advise, guiding them with Your good counsel. Establish peace in the land and fullness of joy for all who dwell there. Amen. – Mishkan T’Filah (p. 377)
The Prayer for the State of Israel expresses two main wishes: the care for its physical well-being and for its souls’ well-being. There are additional messages...Read More
At one point during the life of Gandhi he was asked if he was a Hindu. He replied, “Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew.”
Last week, we saw the horrible tragedy that befell the people of Kansas City, KS, when a gunman opened fire at a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish senior center. As members of the Jewish community, we know that even here in America, where Jews are perhaps safer than anywhere else in the world, there is some risk to our safety.
While violent anti-Semitism is low in this country, we all know of the cases in which we have been...Read More
I walked to Jerusalem's Ben Yehuda Street toward the end of Shabbat, thinking that I was going to wait on a park bench until Shabbat ended and the stores opened, in order to try to buy a Spiderman kippah for our son. (I should've just bought one in Tzfat when I first saw them; I haven't been able to find one anywhere else!) I did stay on a park bench for quite a while, and waited until well after nightfall, and the kippah stores did not open, and finally I walked back to the Old City and treated myself to one last Jerusalem...Read More
Tonight, the Israel Religious Action Center is hosting its first-ever Mimouna celebration.
Mimouna is one of five national holidays created after the founding of Israel in 1948. This traditional Moroccan Jewish celebration marks the return to eating chametz after nightfall, on the last day of Passover. Not many people know this, but originally, the Mimouna was a holiday that marked the good relations between the Jews and their Muslim neighbors in Morocco. At the end of the Passover holiday, the...Read More
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