A Rabbi's World

01/26/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

For reasons that I cannot adequately explain, I recently found myself watching a few minutes of a Republican candidates’ debate in Florida.  

01/19/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

After months of anticipation laden with some odd admixture of dread, pride, satisfaction, and a few other random emotions, our nest officially empties this Saturday night.  Our third child, a junior at Barnard who has already lived at school for almost three years, leaves for a semester abroad in Copenhagen- much farther away than Morningside Heights.  With our youngest in Israel for the year, our oldest in Florida, and our older daughter in Japan, we are left without children to pack up and send away. 

01/12/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

For a variety of reasons. the pulpit rabbinate is a high-stress job.

First of all, and most obvious, I would think, you have to deal with more illness, cosmic unfairness, death and dying than almost anyone else except physicians.  Being on call 24/7, and having to be strong and composed for others who are suffering and/or grieving exacts a tremendous toll in both the short and long run.  Taking care of one’s own inner life as a rabbi is an under-appreciated challenge.  The accumulated grief wears you down.

01/06/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

There is probably no more cliché way to open a speech or article about Israel than to say something like “These past few weeks and months have been difficult ones for Israel.”  It’s cliché because one would be hard-pressed to think of a time when that was not true.  Rarely are we afforded a time to focus on the glories of Israel, which are many, and not the problems that seem to plague it from all angles and directions.

12/30/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Because my wife works in an academic setting, the end of December is usually a good time for us to get away for a week or so. Synagogue activity tends to slow down then as well because so many people are away.  It is, as I like to call it, a great opportunity to “air out.”

12/22/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

I love Chanukah.  I love the fact that it gives us a reason to celebrate when the days are dark and (relatively) cold, and to light a light against the darkness.  Last but most certainly not least, Chanukah also reminds us of the power of faith in God, and in the rightness of our cause, to carry us to victory in times of trouble, even against insurmountable odds.

This year, however, as we celebrate the ancient victory of the Maccabees, I am deeply concerned.