Portrait of my late mother Alice Barbanel as a 21 year-old. I don't know where to put Mom. Not Mom in actuality, but her portrait. Mom passed away...
To these men and women (and many, many more), life is more than about doing a job and getting paid. It's about making a difference and following your passions. It's about connecting deeply to what you believe in, and expressing your values to others.
This year, amidst the war that rages on the ground, in the shattered remnants of our hearts, we believe the world needs an extra Shabbat of Comfort, an extra dose of compassion, an extra week to seek comfort for all of God's fragile creation.
ISIS is now forcing the approximately 3,000 Christians remaining in Mosul, a major city with thousands of years of Christian history, to choose between essentially the same options given to Jews in 1492: live under intolerable, impoverishing dhimmi status; convert to Islam; leave; or die.
Our ubiquitous social media are a game changer: having seen pictures of dead boys on a beach, we cannot un-see them.
There's been quite a fuss about a nationalistic, Russian beer commercial David Duchovny made not long ago -- especially given that he recently discovered that his roots are actually in Ukraine. For obvious reasons, this is less than ideal timing.
Yesterday, President Obama nominated Rabbi David Saperstein to serve as the United States' Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom. Saperstein would be the first non-Christian to serve in the role.
Israel's supporters are not a special breed of fanatic, "uncritical boosters"; but a diverse lot of thoughtful patriots, confronting dilemmas while also affirming Jewish national dreams and Israel's fundamental rights.
The war in Gaza roars on and a storm of words are bandied about, unfiltered and at times, even un-thought. In the past few weeks I've done my own share of opining -- I won't be doing only that here. Rather, I'm going to show you an example of bridge building, as of late, an activity in short supply.
No one knows how the current war will play out. Even if Israel clears out every last Hamas tunnel, how long will it be before it is forced to back in to dismantle Hamas' rebuilt terror infrastructure?
Generally speaking, Asians and Jews have a lot in common: a strong sense of family and culture, priorities on education and success and troubled wartime histories. And let's be honest, a Korean mother is basically a Jewish mother with a stronger accent.
Israel is more than rocket attacks and bombs. There is more to experience in this tiny yet incredible country than code red sirens and shelters. Th...
To my mind, Jimmy Cannon was the greatest sports writer who ever lived. I read his columns in the New York Post avidly and religiously. When he wasn't writing about sports, he was musing, offering his personal, mostly one- or two-liner opinions, about anything that hit his off-the-charts observant eye. Most had little to do with sports.
I've found, as a rabbi in a progressive American Jewish community, that our willingness to see the humanity in the face of "the other" far surpasses our historical willingness to see our own family's faces in the same way.
We live in the Too-Much-Information Age, when it seems like the more information we have, the less we can find or develop informed opinion, context and knowledge.
At a recent protest rally on the streets of Boston, just one of many that I've seen personally, watched on TV and read about, members of our community went at each other's throats, demonstrating not only how we're not monolithic when it comes to passion and politics but how LGBTQs are inextricably tied to world events.