During Friday evening services, I use T’filah HaLev (Prayers of the Heart) to reflect on my thoughts about the previous week and the days to come. Lately, my thoughts have turned mostly to what is wrong in America. Though prayer may not provide answers, I find comfort in the sanctuary, where I can talk to God and let the Divine know how I feel, without being judged.
At a recent Friday evening Shabbat service, my rabbi spoke to the congregation and, without singling me out, told me I was indifferent. I wasn’t angry at him for saying so – I was angry at myself because he was correct...Read More
At this time of year in Israel, heat again bakes ancient stone. The land is parched, and it is easy to fall prey to fear. It can seem that the thirst of this midsummer 17th day of the month of Tammuz is not only the thirst of this year but of every summer at once. Time flattens upon itself. The stories of this day are the stories of all the 17ths of Tammuz through time.
This day, our stories say, is the day that Moses came down from the mountain. Some six weeks before, the Israelites had assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai in awe and joy at receiving the Ten Commandments. Moses...Read More
On June 6, the Anti-Defamation League chose to add a chilling combination of regularly-used punctuation to their database of hate symbols: The newest addition is the “echoes” symbol, a set of three parentheses that enclose a name online.
Vox explains that members of the alt-right, a politically conservative movement...Read More
Every city where Jews live must set up tzedakah collectors, respected and reliable persons who go through the community every week and collect from each one what is appropriate for them to give, what has been determined for them; and they distribute the funds in the course of the week, a week’s allowance for each needy recipient…. And we have never heard of or seen a Jewish community that does not have a tzedakah fund…
Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Gifts for the Poor, 9:1, 3
When we made aliyah in 1990, arriving at Shorashim, the community was a moshav sheetufi, a...Read More
With Jerusalem's annual Pride March only two days away, I'd like to share with you an article I wrote, titled "Pride and Prejudice," that was published today in Israel's newspaper, Yisrael Hayom (Israel Today).
In the last few days, the LGBTQ community has been under attack from various groups in Israel. On the eve of the Jerusalem Pride March, which will be held in honor of Shira Banki, z"l, who was murdered a year ago today in last year’s pride march, the mood in the LGBTQ...Read More