I get asked a lot if I’m “half.” Often, people are referring to my mixed Caucasian and Asian American heritage, their curiosity sparked by my Korean last name on my Jewish business card or by whatever other seeming tip arises on a given day. Other times, particularly as the holidays overlap in December and my family brings out our menorah alongside our Christmas tree, people ask whether I’m “half Jewish,” assuming my dual holiday celebration must mean some part of me is not Jewish. They couldn’t be more wrong.
I grew up active in my synagogue, doing everything Reform Jewish kids do...Read More
“A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its flame to the other. You are such a light.” -Moshe Davis and Victor Ratner
When our children were younger, we wanted to find ways to make the value of Hanukkah more than receiving a gift each night. One night, we invited non-Jewish friends to share in our holiday, another night was designated as Family Game Night, and yet another night was...Read More
After two long years Pharaoh's cupbearer speaks up Tells about Joseph
"When we were in jail A Hebrew youth was with us Interpreted dreams"
When he interpreted the cupbearer's dream in last week's portion, Joseph said,"Think of me when all is well with you again, and do me the kindness of mentioning me to Pharaoh, so as to free me from this place" (Gen. 40:14). But as the portion ended, we learned that after the cupbearer was freed, he "did not think of Joseph; he forgot him." (Gen. 40:23).
This week's portion begins "after two years' time" (Gen....Read More
Today we light the fourth candle of Hanukkah. We kindle lights – each Shabbat and, as we’re doing this week, during the darkest period of the year. We also kindle lights during the darkest moments in history, and in countless ways: in the values we espouse, in the kindnesses we extend, and in the visions we hold of a world redeemed and whole.
Despite the way it’s celebrated, though, Hanukkah really isn’t a holiday for children. Sure, we tell our...Read More
One day after a Girl Scout Brownie meeting, my wife received a call from an irate mom accusing our third-grader of ruining her daughter’s childhood: “Mimi announced in front of all the girls that there is no Santa Claus!” My wife apologized, but in Mimi’s defense, pointed out that sooner or later they would realize that Mimi was right. The woman didn’t want to hear about truth. In her view, a cherished Christmas custom had been spoiled.
Mimi is now 30 and married to Wes, a Jew-by-choice. As they are expecting their first child in February, I thought this would be a good time to ask...Read More
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