First Person

09/02/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | First Person

One of the primary areas in daily life where I strive for piety is in my eating choices. Jewish tradition is rich with wisdom pertinent to our greatest moral problems related to food consumption today: hunger, just labor practices, treatment of animals, fair trade, environmental impact, and access to healthy food options. I have become more interested in exploring the degree to which the lifestyles advised in Chassidic thought can assist the moral life choices of one seeking to eat and consume more justly.

08/16/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

When I agreed to teach Jewish law at Humboldt University in Berlin — the only European law school to offer such a course — I assumed I could be reasonable and objective about Germany. I was naïve. No American, certainly no Jew, comes to Germany clean. There are too many memories, too many inherited cultural images and prejudices.

07/26/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Recently, my 20-month-old son asked for cookies for breakfast. “No,” I said, “it’s not time for cookies.” “Yeah,” he agreed. “It’s Shabbat.” (It was in fact, a Tuesday). How had he concluded — already (!!!) — that Shabbat was a day of no? I had felt relatively comfortable that Shabbat in our house was more a day of togetherness and play. But once again, he knew better.

07/12/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

I have been a little blue lately, and it’s embarrassing to admit why. I am mourning the end of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”

06/14/2011 | | Jewish Week Book Critic | First Person

I was born on Father’s Day. Many times over the years, we celebrated my father’s day and my day as one. But this year is different: our day falls just after I finish saying Kaddish for my father.

04/27/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

When the Hotel Astoria in Budapest opened in 1914, it imparted an aura of old-world style and tradition. Even today, the hotel evokes elegance and decorum, until you think about its more recent past.