More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in this country, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In Washington State, studies show that death by gun violence has consistently exceeded motor vehicle crash deaths.
I lived through and observed this saga up close and have always been inspired by the strength and courage of Len and Vicki Eisenfeld and Arline Duker.
Once you're in, you're in, but the idea of having to "prove" something about a fundamental part of who you are, just because you don't have the "right look," seems absurd. Not all Jews are white with curly brown hair, OK? That's never been the way it was and it never will be.
Though I might not subscribe to every prayer in the Siddur, I always use the synagogue time for my own prayer of thanks for being alive and the multitudes of blessings I enjoy. I want to let the Lord know I haven't forgotten them. Then, leaving the hall, the yarmulke still in place on my head, I head home feeling a little purer.
Fear, and not lack of self-discipline, (or lack of organizational skills) is what prevents us from making our dreams manifest. We are often motivated to create to derive a sense of validation and purpose: to bring forth a sense of belonging.
It is the morning of October 3rd. As I have for the past more than forty October 3rds, I take from the cupboard a special kind of candle and light it. As I do so, I think about my father.
60 houses built by the Ezrat Niddachim charitable organisation in Silwan, Jerusalem, for poor Yemenite Jews in the 1880s. An Arab resident of Silwan...
The sold-out audience was euphoric, still in a state of shock regarding a Supreme Court action that had unilaterally doubled the number of states with marriage equality earlier in the day. "Harvey Milk is looking down on us," Kristin Chenoweth had remarked to many throughout the night.
In the High Holiday prayers we say, "May we all blend into one community to do Thy will with a whole heart." We can never be whole unless we are one community, with everyone having an equal seat around the table.
They have a way of scaring you, of chasing sleep away, these psychological thrillers that send your heart thumping. Imagine, then, what you are in for when two masters of the genre decide to collaborate.
Our current data is of course limited by survey's methods, which were good at collecting the information that we thought we wanted, like intermarriage rates and the ascendance of "Jews of no religion."
Anthony Bourdain's very existence is against the odds, and his wanderlust almost inevitable.
As a young trans girl growing up as a yeshiva boy in Queens, New York, I found that this play resonated deeply within me. The eponymous Yentl, who goes by the name Anshel as a yeshiva boy, challenges the gender norms of that extinct European world of the Jewish Pale and its predominantly Orthodox Jewish communities.
The fasting of Yom Kippur and the rejoicing of Eid Al-Adha/Kurban Bayram are two sides of a common legacy. Faced with ongoing violence, the self-examination of Jews on Yom Kippur and the happiness of Muslims at Eid Al-Adha/Kurban Bayram stand in repudiation of bitterness, prejudice, and incitement.
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the well-known bioethicist and brother of the mayor of my town, argued recently in an essay in the Atlantic Monthly that 75 is the perfect age to die. After that, he said, most people have little to contribute to society and are a burden rather than a benefit. I can think of few less-Jewish ideas than this. It is not only heartless but wrong.
This week, the Jewish people celebrate the third holiday of the new year -- Sukkot. Following Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, which are devoted to intense prayer, Sukkot is an extremely active holiday and, as such, is one which, by its very nature, promotes unity.