A Rabbi's World

02/18/2016 - 14:05 | | A Rabbi's World

My wife and I traveled to Florida over the Presidents Day week to visit with family and some friends. Given the weather that New York experienced in December, we imagined that New York might wind up being the warmer of the two places, but as it turned out, we couldn't have been more wrong! The weather in Florida was spectacularly sunny and warm, and the weather in New York has been equally spectacular, but in the other direction, with record cold temperatures. Through nothing but luck, we definitely won the vacation lottery.

02/11/2016 - 09:54 | | A Rabbi's World

Once upon a time, long before a career in the rabbinate was even a remote thought, I was a political science major in college. Politics and the political process fascinated me as far back as I can remember, and they still do. Although we all now know that the “Camelot” image of the Kennedy years was carefully constructed to hide its very real human flaws, I grew up quite entranced by its magic, believing that a life in politics was a noble calling… at least until Watergate. But the fascination remains…

02/03/2016 - 10:21 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

The decision this week by Israel’s governing Cabinet to formally approve a proposal accommodating non-Orthodox, egalitarian prayer at the Kotel – the remaining Western Wall of the ancient Jerusalem Temple – has evoked passionate, but predictable, responses.

01/29/2016 - 10:35 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

In one of the sadder episodes of my rabbinate, I officiated recently at the funeral of a young soldier in the American army who died suddenly of natural causes. The death was, to understate the case dramatically, a horrific shock to the soldier’s family, and to all of us who knew him and his family through the years. His death was a great tragedy.

01/22/2016 - 11:34 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

At the wedding I attended in Washington last weekend, I had a rare and precious chance to sit with my wife, among the guests, as a guest.

It doesn’t happen all that often. Most commonly, I am at weddings as the officiating rabbi. I’m worrying about who has the rings, do the bride and groom remember their lines, is there a glass to break under the huppah, and other details that people just assume take care of themselves. But in this instance, as a long-time friend of the bride’s parents, I could just sit back and watch the warmth and charm of the traditional Jewish wedding work its magic. And I was, anew, amazed at how arcane rituals that Jews have been practicing for literally thousands of years can still resonate with such rich meaning in this very different time.

01/13/2016 - 13:28 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Through the good offices of my local New York City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, I had the opportunity some months ago, along with the local Jewish leadership of Central Queens, to meet Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, the Councilwoman from neighboring Corona who also currently serves as the Chair of the powerful Committee on Finance of the New York City Council. Although the meeting was not organized for the purpose of advancing individual pet projects, it nonetheless attracted, as one would expect, a great deal of interest among local Jewish leaders.