For the first time since that last cursed summer of violence, the scars on my heart stopped their screaming. I understood that now I am on my way home, back to Jerusalem, to struggle there for a true and holy change.
Over the past 15 years, I gradually started to hear growing dissatisfaction from my [Jewish] French relatives about their lives there. The youngest were the first to complain. One of them had been roughed up on the metro and her Star of David ripped from her neck.
Hypnagogic images, images that dance on the inside of your eyelids in the liminal stages between wakefulness and sleep, are strangely affectless; they float like bubbles on the mind's eye, no feeling attached to them -- unlike dreams, which are hooked into the deepest emotional centers of the brain.
I quiet myself down, take deep breaths and listen to my heart beat. Sometimes the world can seem so chaotic, that only breathing can bring me back to the center of who I am.
While more associated with Eastern religions, the notion of reincarnation is not foreign to Judaism. Indeed, through the centuries, the topic has been earnestly debated among the great rabbis.
I started as a hardcore nerd whose wish for fairness and equality was deepened by watching Star Trek.
During my time in Israel, I refused to accept that our values are different, that peace is not possible. I witnessed the similarities of our values and the compatibility of our nature. We must relinquish fear and retain hope. In doing so, coexistence is near.
Just as the Jewish people could not have existed without the Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people cannot exist without a relationship with Shabbat.
"A fire is burning." This Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky declared to European Jewry in the 1930s. Too few heeded his cry. As I leave Paris after a solidarity mission following terrorist attacks at Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher, I offer a similar cry.
In a time where opinions around sexual thoughts and feelings are getting more and more extreme the introduction of this new podcast is a welcome step in the right direction. God commands humanity to be fruitful and multiply.
It is not often that orthodox Judaism is showcased on television in a positive light. Having grown up with two parents who became frum and having gone to orthodox Jewish schools myself, I am really intrigued by those who are able to show a love for this type of religious observance.
Targeting Jews meant attacking a community whose culture has one goal: bringing together the universal and the particular. Jewish values aspire to universality. But only by distinguishing ourselves can we embody these values, which makes it an impossible challenge.
It is hard to find a major religion or secular ideology that has not been used by some of its adherents to justify violence against others.
No matter how deeply Muslims and Catholics have been hurt, we should be reassured that most have the character to accept this as the cost of respecting individual rights.
Violence can seem like the only solution to people already experiencing the suffocation of dead endings. My hope is that the rest of us, instead of saying "What can you do?" say the same, but with a different intonation.
The proper response to the Charlie Hebdo murders is not to jail "blasphemers" of any persuasion, whether they hold a pen or a microphone.