Thousands of years ago, the Jewish people were expelled from the land of Israel into the Diaspora. They remained there until 1948, when the Jewish people finally achieved the dream of a homeland when the State of Israel was born.
The Jewish people have never been strangers to exile or xenophobia. Having had this unique background and history enables Jews to examine the issue of immigration reform through a fresh perspective, which will hopefully add some common sense to the chaos with which this issue has been associated in recent years. The immigrants who come to the U.S. are...Read More
"It's not the roar that makes the lion, it's the pride." This is the conclusion at which musician Benjamin Scheuer arrives after taking us on his coming-of-age journey. Only in his early thirties, Scheuer has already gone through multiple trials, each one aggressively testing his mettle. But he's come out the other side and he's sharing his strength with us in a one-man show, The Lion.
Though Scheuer recorded some of his story with his band, Escapist Papers, he and director Sean Daniels recently presented The Lion in a small, intimate...Read More
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
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