Is GOP God's Own Party?

The Supreme Court convenes this week -- the first Monday in October —for a new session that will reverberate over the next 13 months until the first Tuesday in November 2016 when American voters will make their own decisions that could determine the makeup of the Court for a generation.

Over the past year the Court has made some of its most controversial decisions that already are major issues in the presidential campaign, most notably upholding Obamacare and same-sex marriage.

McCarthy's Confession

Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is likely to be the next speaker of the House, revealed that the Benghazi investigation is a politically-motivated attempt to destroy Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, and he boasted it has succeeded.

Speaking to Fox News' Sean Hannity, he said,

Can Bibi Repair Rift With Obama?

I've been unable to find another instance when an American political party allied itself so closely with a friendly foreign government for the purpose of defeating the policy of an American administration.

There has been no more outspoken foe of the Iran nuclear deal backed by the Obama administration than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, nor has there ever been a leader of an American ally who has plunged so deeply and so blatantly into domestic partisan American politics.

Honoring Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, Disability Activist

Last July, Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, Senior Disability Advisor for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism was presented the first Thornburgh Family Award. Established by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) this year during the 25th anniversary year of the ADA, the Thornburgh Family Award recognizes a religious leader who exemplifies the spirit of the ADA. The award is named after U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, who helped negotiate the ADA with Congress, and Ginny Thornburgh, a long-time advocate for people with disabilities nationally and globally who specializes in inclusion in religious communities. Dick and Ginny are the parents of a son, Peter, a man of faith, who has intellectual and physical disabilities.

Friendship, Asperger's Syndrome and Jewish Observance

Editor's Note: Although the DSM-5 no longer uses Asperger's Syndrome as a classification, it is still used by many people with Asperger's, clinicians and community.

I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when I was four years old and attended various special education programs since I was three. I am now a college student and understand how several decisions that I have made have been essential in helping me to overcome challenges, to become the person that I am today and to thrive. One of those decisions, my decision to become religiously observant, which I made around the time that I began high school, has been essential to my growth.

The Incredibly Shrinking Tent

The GOP has long boasted of being a big open tent but it seems to be shrinking quite a bit lately thanks to the "keep out" signs being posted by some of its presidential contenders and leading figures.

Backstage At Club Gelbe Stern

Amidst the clink of cutlery and the gentle murmur of strangers cheerfully bumping elbows in the Laurie Beechman Theatre on 42nd Street, a striking woman rushes in, checks her face in the mirror—a little bruised, but still strong—and then brazenly takes the stage.

Alexis Fishman in "Club Gelbe Stern: Berlin’s Last Starlit Night." Photo courtesy Hunter Canning

The Art Of Forgiveness

Remembrance is always part of the Jewish consciousness; our calendar is linked throughout the year to events long past, to ancient rites, to ancient wrongs and to how our ancestors either succeeded or failed in their observance or existence. The High Holidays, though, are not only about remembrance; they are also about forgiving and forgetting — about conjuring up the past year, weighing the good and bad, of others perhaps, but especially of our selves, of letting go and hoping that our sins and misdemeanors of omission and commission, are let go as well.

Alex Mendoza, Untitled, from the series “Time and Place,” 2015. Courtesy of the artist.

Advice For Biden

I have two words of caution for Vice President Joe Biden as he considers making a third run for the presidency.  I'll get to them shortly.

It can be intoxicating to see the polls and pundits saying more people would vote for him than Hillary Clinton or anyone else on the Democratic side, especially after his dismal previous attempts in 1988 and 2008, but the Veep should be wary about such early indicators.

Strands Intertwined And A Yom Kippur Dream

Have you ever had a vivid dream more meaningful than real events? Such was my Yom Kippur dream over fifty years ago.

In the dream, I stood next to my father in Temple Beth El in Asbury Park, NJ. The congregation was reciting the Al Chet "For the sin which we have committed before You" Yom Kippur prayer.

As I recited each sin, I struck my chest lightly as I had been taught. My feet felt the floor slanting down towards the front row. The choir, supported by the organ, was holding one long continuous note. It was my most spiritual moment of the year.

Notes written by Rabbi Levy's father. Courtesy of Michael Levy
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