A Rabbi's World

12/29/2011 - 19:00 | | 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.”

12/21/2011 - 19:00 | | 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. 

12/14/2011 - 19:00 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Just a few weeks ago, I wrote a piece for this paper about Pilgrims and Native Americans.  It spoke of how the legacy of the Thanksgiving story often falls prey to deconstructionists, who value historical truth over cultural myth at all cost. Rather than have children- and, for that matter, adults- celebrate a cherished American belief in a common appreciation of blessings, they would argue that historical reality in all of its messiness- or at least, the probability of its being reality- must trump exercises in feel-good nostalgia rooted in legend.

12/07/2011 - 19:00 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World


Much ink has already been spilled on the ill-fated ad campaign launched by Israel’s Ministry of Absorption, aimed at convincing Israelis living here in the United States to return to Israel. I’m afraid I’m going to spill a little more.

11/30/2011 - 19:00 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

I am not among those who routinely dismiss President Obama’s presidency as a failure, nor do I count myself among those who see him as an enemy of Israel.  I regard him as a good and honorable man- a thoughtful man- who was swept into office on the wings of his great oratorical skills.  In so doing, he carried on his back the desperate hopes of an American people, fearful that the economic meltdown of 2008 was destroying the way of life that they had come to know, and depend on.

11/22/2011 - 19:00 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

As I walked down the hall of my synagogue towards my office earlier this week, I was distracted by the happy sounds of young children having themselves a very good time.  I detoured into the room where our Nursery School had gathered for a “holiday feast,” and everyone- faculty and children- was in costume.  There were Pilgrims, and Native Americans, and even a few turkeys thrown in for good measure.  I couldn’t help but smile- such a sweet scene!