Reading Maimonides in Beirut reminded me that beyond right and wrong, reason and faith, belief and unbelief, we are perhaps most alive and wise when we strive to become conscious of the "self."
Most people know about the Jewish tradition of smashing a glass to remember the destruction of the First Temple, especially since it takes place in the presence of all wedding guests. By contrast, the ketubah ceremony occurs in a more private setting.
If today's uprising is suppressed without addressing its grievances, and without building a government that represents all of the people equally, it will ensure the death of countless innocent people, destabilizing not only Iraq, but the entire world.
While the government works to sweep asylum-seekers off its streets and decant them back into the interior of the African continent, the vast majority of Jewish religious institutions and lay leaders in Israel have not made any attempt to aid the Africans.
Writings like Horovitz's column appeal to American Jews who cling to a notion of Jewish powerlessness and who need enemies to define their identity. They resist celebrating a US-Israel bond that is stronger than it has ever been.
The smartphone has become as ubiquitous as any organ in the human body. And while I strongly believe that as a tool (it is perhaps the most miraculous thing created on the planet), I'm also cognizant of it having made us into actual cyborgs.
Isn't it time to celebrate the common heritage of Judaism and Christianity, despite the differences between the two faiths? Isn't it time to endorse Pope Francis's bold statement: "A Christian cannot be anti-Semitic; his roots are Jewish"?
Life from their vantage point is still predictable, steady and under control. It's a comfort during this difficult time.
At the University of Southern California (USC), a giant story of Jewish history has been writ large in a small exhibition titled "Lives of the Great Patriotic War: The Untold Story of Soviet Jewish Soldiers in the Red Army during WWII."
The Jewish view of tattoos is more nuanced. It reflects the purposes skin markings filled in ancient culture and the reverence with which we are to treat our bodies.
Though most Americans identify as Christian (more than three quarters, according to the survey), there are at least 236 discernable faith groups in the U.S., according to an earlier study by the ASARB.
Will Hillary Clinton take Sheryl Sandberg's advice and lean in? Will she announce her candidacy for president even as she awaits the birth of her first grandchild? Would we ask such a question of Bill? The answers are of more than passing interest to me.
My great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki, was split between affinities: on the one hand, he was a painter of traditional Jewish life in Poland, settling his gaze upon scenes of synagogue, teaching, labor and leisure. On the other hand, his self-portraits reveal a man apart from the world he depicted.
Rabbi Pamela Barmash's teshuvah misses a ripe opportunity to re-examine our relationship to mitzvoth in a world that is hopefully breaking down hierarchy and gender roles and heading towards complete egalitarianism. Do we really perform mitzvoth because we feel obligated?
The Obama administration would have to challenge the Israeli government's hard line toward the Palestinians in order for the peace process to be successful. Unfortunately, the White House apparently had no interest in doing so.
On some level, I believed atheism was hereditary. That the composition of my DNA couldn't produce anything other than me. And so, when my first daughter was born, I made a conscious effort to introduce her to religion. I wanted to make sure that whatever beliefs she formed, they were of her own making, not mine.