A Rabbi's World

04/26/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week Online | A Rabbi's World

 

The first time I ever left the continental United States -- also the first time I ever flew--was when I traveled to Israel for my junior year of college in 1971.

04/19/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Re-entry from Israel to New York is always a surreal experience for me.  Where I live in central Queens is one of the most densely populated Jewish areas in the United States. There is little Jewish that is lacking here.  Outside of Israel, there are very few, if any, places in the United States where you can get quite as many Israeli products as my greater neighborhood, But after spending ten days in Jerusalem, I am reminded of just how much New York is not Israel.

04/11/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

10) Having a seder with my sister and brother-in-law and their five children and eight grandchildren for the first time ever!

9)  Every gas station mini-market is kasher l’pesach,  and every gas station attendant wishes you a Chag Sameach (while they’re charging you a month’s salary to fill up your tank…)

8)  Kasher l’Pesach Magnum ice cream bars!

7)  On Chol HaMoed, it seems like every family in Israel is cooking out in a public park!

04/04/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

When I finished last year’s Seder with the words L’Shanah Haba’ah Bi’Yrushalayim Habnuyah- Next Year in a Rebuilt Jerusalem- I never allowed myself to imagine that I might actually be spending Passover, 5772 in anywhere other than Forest Hills.  Of course, were the Messiah to arrive, I would be ready to relocate, but absent that miraculous intervention in history, I didn’t see myself going anywhere for the holiday.

03/30/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

No matter how one chooses to parse the still sketchy details, the recent death by gunfire of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida is a great tragedy. A young life was violently taken because of an all-too-easily arrived at suspicion based on stereotype. See a black teen wearing a “hoodie” in a white, gated community and, as the shooter George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer, himself said to police, one must assume that he’s “up to no good.”

03/21/2012 | | Jewish Week Columnist | A Rabbi's World

In my years as a camper at Camp Massad Bet in the 1960’s, each and every camper bunk had to select a name for itself based on the name of a real place in the State of Israel. It then had to produce a plaque -– a shelet, in Hebrew-–that would represent the place/name it had chosen. When all the plaques were completed, there would be a competition to decide which was the best.  All the bunks would gather together, and a representative from each bunk would have to explain --  in Hebrew, of course -- the symbolism of what appeared on the plaque.