I'm often asked whether suicide is a "choice," and of course in some literal sense it is. Yet it's a decision profoundly influenced by the hopelessness, distorted thinking, and compromised decision-making that can result from serious mental illnesses.
A few questions about the book and about my nonfiction writings would quickly reveal my shocking point of view: that I think the Jewish people should stop circumcising.
For most of my life, I thought of Yom Kippur as a time for fear and trembling, a time for deep, powerful, intense work, and of course fasting and other forms of self-affliction. But somewhere along the way, I got to see another face of the day -- one of dancing, singing and celebration as we ask for our lives to be rendered anew.
Religion aside, I firmly believe that those who argue that homosexuality is a choice do so in order to justify senseless beatings of gays and lesbians, and continued discrimination and mistreatment against them. I also believe without a doubt that it is a choice to be a nasty human being.
Current year's Eid al-Adha calls for a conversation among Muslims and all global citizens. We intend to prompt the global conscientiousness regarding the need to help the needy as well as confront those committing crimes against their fellow man and our shared earth.
We Remember reminds us, that regardless of religion, we are fundamentally similar. As the Jewish High Holidays have returned, I thought what better time to chat with the Hebrew Hillbilly herself.
If there is one thing that I would like to change in the world, it is this: I would like women to respect themselves enough to say no to all this. I want women to allow themselves to feel the impact of the silencing.
No doubt, it is our natural instincts as parents to protect our kids from any harm. To watch them suffer is harder on us -- many times -- than on them.
Israel is a name understood by all Jews as coupled to their identification. Yet outside the Jewish community its resonance in historic terms is marginal and doesn't begin to encompass the totality of the Jewish historical ties to the history of the Middle East.
It's the Jewish new year. Big holiday. Obscene amounts of food. Long hours in the synagogue. This year, I did something different. Instead of using the synagogue prayer book designated for the holiday, I took my own prayer book.
For Jews, Rosh Hashanah is the equivalent of the Thanksgiving conundrum. But one political issue is more explosive than all the others put together. The political cause that supposedly all unites Jews but -- as any Jewish leader will tell you -- threatens to tear us apart. Israel.
Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when you can trade in your English Happy New Year for the Hebrew L'shana tovah meaning "for a good year". The party begins promptly at sundown, so the common joke among revelers scrambling to leave their nine-to-five is to call it "Rush-a Home-a" (insert laugh track).
At home I never went to religious school and was not bar mitzvahed. We went as a family to services on the high holy days. My father always said, 'we go to be counted.' We went as part of the team.
Nothing interesting is happening on the dinner table, although it's hard to say just how many days, since as a dog, I have no sense of time whatsoever. But apparently, those are the days on which most of the atoning gets done.
Though I have never written to you, I have carried your image and felt your comforting presence ever since that first day when your son, Simon [Szymon] told me about you.