A Rabbi's World

03/06/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

In addition to my work as a pulpit rabbi in Forest Hills, I wear a number of different communal hats, none more proudly than that of a vice-president of the Zamir Choral Foundation.

03/13/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Although it is more than a little different now than it was almost thirty years ago when I was ordained, the basic requirement is the same.  All graduating seniors in the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary are required to deliver what is called a “senior sermon,” when they either preach or teach in the presence of their faculty,

03/20/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

In the weeks before my first son was born (yes, the one who just became a father last week), I wore a beeper on my belt, like all expectant fathers did when their wives were due any minute.  It was before cell phones, and for those few days when we really needed to be reachable, the hospital would rent out beepers so that our wives could call us.  I actually remember bringing a roll of quarters with me to the hospital, and sitting in my scrubs in a phone booth in the hospital lobby, calling family and friends to tell them the good news.

03/27/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

The disclosures last week about alleged abuse of civilians by Israeli troops during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza must give us pause.  The allegations, if true, are serious.  To be sure, the kind of casual disdain for human life- even of one’s enemy- that is reflected in the anecdotal evidence, even in the t-shirts that some soldiers were seen wearing, should cause alarm bells to ring in the IDF’s Central Command.  And indeed it has.

04/03/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

Yes, it’s that time again.  We can no longer hide from the 800-pound gorilla in the room.  Passover is less than a week away, and there is no avoiding the inevitable hysteria that it generates.  I remember how, as a young child, this was my favorite time of year.  Ah, youth…

04/14/2009 | | Special to the Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

In what was, in retrospect, a striking metaphor for this Hebrew month of Nisan, a congregant asked me at services last night whether it was permissible to distribute special memorial candles for Yom Hashoah- Holocaust Commemoration Day- during these concluding days of Passover.

To phrase his question another way- can we disturb the sacred obligation to celebrate our ancient redemption with a jarring reminder of contemporary exile and destruction?

Such an interesting question, and so very Jewish…