The loss of family traditions particular to one spouse's culture, like the disappearance of friends whose primary loyalty lay with the other spouse, are intangible "assets" also subject to division.
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?
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.
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.
What should be the Jewish response to Christmas, whether it is part of our own family, on our block or just floating in the air -- how should the season be greeted?
There is an issue of which all of us who would like to see peace in the Middle East are aware, but which is mostly going unmentioned today because of fear of reprisals. The issue is the state of war currently existing between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims.
One of the key lessons of the Hanukkah story is that if we are to create an enduring future, we must have the wherewithal to fashion sacred moments here and now that uplift our spirits and have the potential of becoming touchstones.
In recent years, Hollywood, for better or worse, has played a significant role in educating the public about the Holocaust and its contemporary implications. This is why The Book Thief is an important new contribution to the Holocaust film genre.
Tonight is mid-stream Chanukah and Thanksgiving is behind us. In the end, I'm not sure the confluence of the two birthed any physical or spiritual properties for my family or me.
Both traditions use prayer, gathering of family, and special foods to celebrate the miraculous providence of God to sustain a struggling community in a context of colonial oppression. Reflecting on how they differ may also help us overcome the ugly connotations of Thanksgiving.
You see, for the past few years during Chanukah we have strapped a large menorah to the top of our van. Depending on where you live, you may have seen this. But for the general public of Philadelphia, this definitely draws attention.
The testimony of the Jewish people throughout their scriptures and history and in this season of Hanukkah reminds me, just as God told Moses in the wilderness, to stop crying and start moving forward in spite of moments of doubt, trusting in the continued light of God's presence.
The number one priority of just about every Jewish organization is to involve more younger members. In order to accomplish that one must be willing to genuinely engage the millennial generation and collaboratively shape the Jewish future together.
I don't know what the artist had in mind when crafting this piece by hand. I don't think that anyone will ever know.