Thanksgiving -- at least in the form we celebrate it in this country -- is an American invention, and also a holiday about each of our relationships to America.
More and more I believe that the only territory in which one truly can cause the Divine to reign is the kingdom of one's own heart.
Believe it or not, American Jews typically do celebrate Thanksgiving. I mean, what Jewish person (or any person for that matter) wouldn't want to sit around a table with their family, eat turkey, argue about politics all day and then watch some good-old American football?
The day we all pray for will come when we can listen well enough to distinguish, affirm, and support our truest selves. None need be at the expense of the other, and all could use their own dignity back.
They walk among us -- those agents of change. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded of who they are. Take note of five noteworthy souls striving to make the world a better place.
We're outraged by Donald Trump's demanding I.D. cards to protect America from the super-hyped threat of Syrian refugees. We're ashamed by the memory of Roosevelt's interning more than 100,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. But Winston Churchill went even farther.
Conservative Judaism is quintessentially the Judaism of relationship. Balancing relationships with other Jewish denominations, reaching out to the non-Jewish world, and most important, understanding our tradition as one in continuing dialogue with God.
The idea of creating a national registry of all Muslims living in the United States is egregiously wrong and almost certainly unconstitutional. It is actually such an abysmal idea that it seems farcical - except that it's not funny at all.
Jewish summer camps are likely not something the average American ever thinks about. But for many of us, that shared experience brings us together in our shared pride of being Jewish, of believing in G-d the way our ancestors did, and means that, in fact, #WeareEzraSchwartz.
"I did it because my friends are doing it! I want to fit in, but also it's something that I want." I've used this justification with my parents, as well as with friends, to try and explain myself a little bit. I should add that I'm not talking about drugs here. Or alcohol. I'm talking about Judaism.
(Image by the Author) "From the mouths of infants and sucklings, You have founded strength, for the ending of Your foes, to cause enemy and avenger ...
We live in a world of concentric circles, spheres of influence that protect the core of who we are. But tonight's news rocked the bulls eye of my world. And although there is no logic to this phenomenon, the death of any innocent civilian should shake our foundations, our emotions naturally are overcome when the news hits close to home.
You know the feeling of having the wind knocked out of you. There is a moment, just a moment, when you panic because you've got no breath in your lungs. There's a jolt of helplessness, pure vulnerability, a shock to an otherwise rhythmic system, which seems like it might otherwise go on forever.
As a Jew, the grandchild and great-grand child of immigrants, and a student of American History, I know our country's historical struggles with immigration.
Emma Lazarus, who's proud and shinning words stand indelibly inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, would weep in sorrow and shame if she were with us today as an ever increasing number of our political "leaders" and citizens call for the United States to extinguish the flame of liberty on Middle Eastern refugees of war.