An old saying within the Israeli political establishment goes something like this: "You haven't made it in Israeli politics until you've been cursed by the Pulsa Dinura." The latest such threat is a conjuring-of-last-resort by those within the ultra-Orthodox community who feel sidelined.
Its a major investment of time, people power and resources to pull together in order to create a massive 30 foot-long tent that serves food around the clock in a sea of other tents.
The infatuation that Jews have with Jewish baseball players has led to books dedicated to the topic as well as entire sets of baseball trading cards.
The 12 tribes are given designated places in which to set up camp in the desert. Each flies its own banner and has hand-picked neighbors. But they are all important parts of a community -- a lesson we ought not to forget.
"Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has not made me a woman." As a committed Orthodox Jew, I'm supposed to say that each morning. But this blessing is really tough.
One of the things I learned in temple growing up was how to drink responsibly, focused with awesome intention, for the sake of my G-d, who delights in my joys for his sake. But in high school, I started to wonder: Why haven't I grown up with a tradition of responsible cannabis use?
The week of yesod in the Counting of the Omer is an invitation to consider pulling down the veil. It's about penetrating to the core of who we are.
Today, approximately 27 million people around the globe are forced into slavery-two thirds into sex slavery. And Jews are not exempt from this.
Chapter 26 of Leviticus describes the magnificent rewards that await us if we study and observe the Torah (and the terrible punishments if we don't). But why are the rewards mostly physical rather than spiritual?
Some say that the period of Judaism we are now in, its institutions and leaders, are on the verge of major transformation. Many of us don't see it coming.
The next time you see an observant Jew with prayer shawl, tefillin and tzitzit, look at him and see Jesus -- that's how he appeared every morning.
We must love our fellow Jews as brothers and sisters in a historic, unique collective family, and we must treat the non-Jew with the same dignity that we would wish and envision for ourselves. This is the real meaning of what it means to be "holy" in the "Holy Land" today.
A man with a long beard, exotic accent, flowing robes and a staff enters the mainstream American culture of Phoenix and becomes a beacon for the most assimilated people in the city. It is as if his otherness transmits an aura of authenticity, spiritual profundity and religious truth.
Mankind was created in the image of G-d -- a lesson worth remembering as we stand up to terrorism.
Armed with our faith on the one hand, and technological advancement on the other, we know that there is a common denominator shared by Diaspora Jewry and the State of Israel: contribution to humanity. The Genesis Prize will epitomize this common denominator.
In the midst of our wreckage that I speak to you, both as a Jew and as a New Orleanian, because survival is not just a matter of urban planning, or of financial aid, or willfulness. It is something deeper. It is of the soul.