After a long and full week, I sat down to listen to some Jazz and enjoy a can of sparkling LaCroix water—the grapefruit or “Pamplemousse” is my favorite. I pulled out this amazing recording of Oscar Peterson playing—and recreating—the Cole Porter song book.
Regardless of your stance on how much immigration should be allowed or what that process should entail, the “solutions” we have for these families trying to escape life-threatening situations in their home countries are, in effect, kicking them while they’re down. Does this solve the root problem or take a bad situation and make it worse?
This past week, our nation watched as the Alabama senate passed, and its governor ratified, a highly restrictive law that effectively criminalizes abortion. Regardless of whether one is in favor of abortion or believes such procedures should be banned, the decision ought to stun anyone who cares about the rule of law.
One of the many responsibilities we have in any relationship – partner, parent, or coworker – is knowing when to allow people the space to vent their anger in a safe way and then help them put the pieces back together through dialogue and discourse. The hardest part is stopping ourselves from reacting and simply providing that space.
In this week's Torah portion, we’re given the beautiful lesson that perhaps there’s something more to a name than just an identifier. We have the power to change them, and sometimes they have the power to change us.
Last night was our congregational Annual Meeting. While the meeting itself is a requirement of our bylaws, it is also an opportunity to hear from our lay leaders, executive director and clergy team. For those unable to attend, Rabbi Kosak includes here his speech in lieu of an Oasis Songs column this week. The gist is to provide his thoughts on what our Jewish future will look like, and who we will need to become to get there.
I am blessed to have found a career that offers me considerably less ordinary routine and considerably more joy in the work that I do. Parshat Beha’alotcha is a yearly reminder to find joy not just in the obvious places, but also in the everyday tasks we are required to accomplish.