I grew up as one of the few Asians in a predominantly white, small Catholic New England town. Every day on the school bus and in the school hallways, I was getting punched, spat at and getting my hair pulled for simply not being white.
To truly honor the deceased, it is incumbent upon us to remember the name of each and every precious child and adult. When Jacob blessed Joseph, he said: "in them may my name be recalled."
The Book of Genesis ends on a seemingly sad note, recording the death of Joseph in the last passage. But is that a sad scene -- or a message of hope and faith?
Many religious systems have borrowed various concepts from Judaism -- from Sabbath observance to dietary laws to moral code. If it is so easy to scam the masses, why wouldn't they borrow our revelation narrative?
Just when I thought that society had gotten over the bizarre charge that Jews were collectively responsible for the death of Jesus, an equally bizarre missive has come along to challenge my complacency.
We live in a hyper-changing present, saturated with expanding choices that clamor for immediate attention. For how long will Jews continue to be passionate about social justice, morality and ethics without the reinforcement of ritual?
Nelson Mandela was not always committed to the path of nonviolence, peace, and reconciliation. He grew into that path. If we truly honor him, we should also be growing into that path.
We are in the midst of the season of light. Regardless of our faith, we are dazzled by the display. What is the take away from the glow? When January arrives and the the lights dim and disappear, what will we remember?
Young people look to Kanye as a talented artist, which he is. However, if they look to him for anything else, such as someone who knows about politics, basic manners or living in reality, they are going to get a very slanted view of the world.
Being Jewish is not just about being Jewish my way. While I choose to pray only in spaces where there are no divisions based on gender, I know there are Jews for whom such a division is essential. And not just men.
How do we live with our reluctance to engage in family and faith rituals that once gave life, and the season, meaning?
David is one of the most prominent figures of the Bible, a person whose life and lineage shaped both Judaism and Christianity in crucial ways. So when I discovered a new book called The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero, I was fascinated.
My eyes filled with tears thinking about the many miracles that had to transpire to make this moment possible: a young nation imperfectly fighting its way toward a more perfect union, expanding circles of freedom, a deep commitment to religious liberty and diversity.
American leaders are obsessed with their legacy. Second-term presidents make a mad dash to do something, anything, that will allow history to judge them favorably. Mandela never stooped to this. If he made history, it was as a healer of souls.
We'll be scraping the melted wax off the table for a few more days, but before us lies an entire "holiday season" and our holidaying is over. What's a Jew to do?
When Jews and Muslims in countries around the world embrace our commonalities, and resolve to come together, it accrues to the benefit of both faith communities.