A Rabbi's World

10/28/2015 - 20:00 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

In the terribly sad days after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin’s assassination twenty years ago this week, a bumper sticker began to show up on cars both here and in Israel. It read "Haver, attah hasser": Friend, you are missed. The phrase was a riff on President Clinton’s famous “Shalom Haver” (Farewell, friend) comment uttered the night of the assassination. Obviously shaken and grieved by what had transpired, the President paid an eloquent and heartfelt farewell to the man who had been his partner in the Middle East peace process, and also his friend.

10/21/2015 - 20:00 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Barely two weeks after attending Pope Francis’ Interfaith Service at Ground Zero, I had another, even more surreal experience last night involving the Catholic Church.

09/30/2015 - 20:00 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

One of my very favorite things about the pulpit rabbinate is that no two days are the same. Unlike the iconic 9-5 job, with well-defined hours and expectations, the rabbinate is more “free-form,” with hours that are, in theory and often in practice, 24/7. You’re always on call, because the kinds of needs that rabbis are expected to meet are not restricted to any one time of day.

09/16/2015 - 20:00 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

When it comes to talking about God, the Bible and Jewish liturgy almost invariably resorts to anthropomorphism and metaphor. The reason is simple. Even the most gifted liturgists and spiritualists among us are lacking the spiritual vocabulary adequate to do anything other.

09/09/2015 - 20:00 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

The most ubiquitous and traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting is known to almost all Jews: L’Shanah Tovah Tikateivu V’Teichateimu; may you been inscribed and sealed (in the Book of Life) for a good year. In its few words, it alludes to the central metaphor of the High Holidays. The verdict of our divine judgment is to be recorded upon its completion, and our most fervent prayer is that it be recorded in the Book of Life, and not, God forbid, that other book…

09/03/2015 - 20:00 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Psychiatrists and therapists are known to commonly vacation in August, making it a notoriously bad time to have an emotional crisis. Most rabbis vacation in July, because once August comes, the gravitational pull of the High Holidays begins to assert itself, and virtually the entire synagogue world goes into pre-crisis mode. It seems to many of my colleagues to be “too close” to the holidays to leave town, even though there are at least four weeks before Rosh Hashanah.