The Song That Keeps Playing

Ismar Schorsch was the previous Chancellor of JTS. He was a learned rabbi, and while he lived, I'm embarrassed to say that sometimes I found his teachings too academic or too source driven. At the time, his Torah left me dry. But you know, people improve over time--primarily as we do; and as we do, we can see them more clearly.

Ner Neshama: The Soul Candle of Shimon Peres Will Illuminate Forever

This past week, the Jewish world and humanity as a whole lost one of its giants. Shimon Peres crossed over to olam ha'emet--the world of truth as one Hebrew idiom describes death. It was clear that this week's article needed to be dedicated to his memory. Yet how does one sum up a man like Peres, particularly when so much of the world press has been reporting on his passing?

What We Do Matters

While in Washington, DC, for a family gathering, two unrelated events collided and provided me with some interesting reflections about how Judaism affirms life. First, I reread most of a novel by the Czech author, Milan Kundera. Then I visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. While I have contributed to the museum in the past, this was my first time visiting.

What the High Holidays Mean to this Rabbi

It's begun. Every year around this time, a sort of dread and anxiety washes over me. In the beginning, it would paralyze me. Now I observe it with alternating states of dispassion and curiosity as it cycles around again. If I had to name it, I'd call it the pre-high holiday terrors. Most rabbis I know experience it to some degree, because the stakes are so high.