Religion Column

Honoring our teachers on Lag B’Omer

How we grieve and mourn in the Jewish tradition has been on my mind lately. As I write these words, it is Yom HaShoah, the day when we remember and mourn the six million Jews and millions of others who perished during the Holocaust. On the morning of April 22, Erev Pesach, my family and I laid my grandmother to […]

Praying for Israel on Yom Ha’atzmaut

Our Heavenly Father, rock and redeemer of Israel: Bless the State of Israel, the first flowering of our redemption. Shield her beneath the wings of your love; Spread over her the shelter of your peace; Send your light and your truth to its leaders, officers, and counselors, and guide them with your good counsel. Strengthen the defenders of our Holy […]

At the Passover Seder, 3 matzot=1 people

About a month after October 7, I read a powerful article by my teacher Dr. Mijal Bitton. It was called “That Pain You’re Feeling is Peoplehood.” She wrote how that feeling of heaviness that has weighed on our community, and on our own hearts, we could call peoplehood. Peoplehood is that sense of connection we feel when a stranger passes […]

Engaging Jewish texts we disagree with

Parshat Sh’miniLev. 9:1-11:47 Have you ever heard a song for the first time, and immediately decided that as soon as it was over you’d have to hear it again? And again, and again? I had that experience this week, and have been playing a new Kacey Musgraves song “The Architect” on repeat. When I’m not actively listening to it, it’s […]

One of Purim’s messages is to find your voice

The Talmud declares, “When Adar arrives, our joy increases.” Purim arrives just in time! We love Purim…the costumes, shpiels, carnivals, groggers, noisemaking, hamantaschen and so much fun. Purim is our celebration of our people’s will, determination, and capacity to survive against hate. As Rabbi Ben David has noted, “Our Jewish past does inform our Jewish future and carries the warning […]

The opportunity to find ‘holiness in time’

Parashat VayakhelEx. 35:1-38:20 In Mitch Albom’s book, “The Time Keeper,” he writes, “Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or on the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. […]

Our human story must be written by us

Parshiot Tetzaveh/Ki TisaEx. 27:20-34:35 Sometimes, the most philosophical questions have the most practical answers. It’s an age old debate: Do we each actually have control over our own lives? Or, are the stories of our lives pre-written by a Greater Power? One of the most central and powerful stories in Judaism, the story of the giving of the Ten Commandments, […]

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