A Rabbi's World

07/02/2016 - 16:08 | | A Rabbi's World

As I began to contemplate appropriate topics for my Shabbat sermon last week, it felt like that the world was feeding new and urgent things for us to worry about almost every day.

06/23/2016 - 16:25 | | A Rabbi's World

Come this September, my wife Robin and I will be celebrating our fortieth wedding anniversary, a relatively rare event in this era of late marriage and frequent divorce. That span of time has afforded us the precious opportunity to bring four beautiful children into this world and raise them, each different from the other, each progressing slowly but steadily from cradle to independence. It has been an unending source of stimulation, laughter, and tears. That doesn’t stop no matter how old they get.

06/16/2016 - 16:05 | | A Rabbi's World

The horrific events of this past weekend in Orlando, where forty-nine members of the LGBT community were slaughtered en masse by a Muslim terrorist and many more were wounded, have left us all stunned and bereaved. As has been pointed out by many, this was not only a hate attack against the gay and lesbian community, but also, more widely, a terrorist strike against America’s pluralistic society and the Western culture it represents.

06/09/2016 - 14:27 | A Rabbi's World

Rabbis both old and new have done a pretty good job teaching about the dangers of “lashon harah,” most commonly translated as slander, or malicious gossip. The most common way this manifests itself is when the offending language is being used offstage, behind the scenes, so that the offended party is not aware of it until it comes out in a more public way.

06/01/2016 - 13:58 | | A Rabbi's World

Regarding the long simmering ill will between the governments of Israel and the United States, I am reminded of the pithy yet profound rabbinic comment on the episode of the Binding of Isaac in Genesis. In assessing whose behavior is more difficult to comprehend, Abraham, with his blind obedience to God’s terrifying command, or Isaac, who utters not a word though he intuits exactly what is happening, the rabbis commented simply “zeh lishhot, v’zeh lishahet.” “One was determined to slaughter, and the other was determined to be slaughtered.” Neither party is beyond reproach.

05/19/2016 - 10:36 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Those who labor in the vineyards of the American Jewish community will readily attest to what sociologists have long known from their research: namely, that denominational affiliation among American Jews, particularly the non-Orthodox denominations, is waning.