Loving my fellow Americans doesn't mean I feel negatively toward people from other countries, and it doesn't mean I think America is perfect. I'm fully aware of this country's strengths and its flaws.
The great Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai wrote how the lives of these dead and wounded increase the radius of a bomb's crater. If that's the case, then the diameter of the bombs that went off in Boston stretched across the world.
Early yesterday, during my morning prayers, I came across an interesting passage in the Zohar -- the enigmatic, poetic, foundational opus of Jewish mysticism -- and soon, innumerable surprising connections were revealed.
At moments like this, we like to see the helpers. It is affirming and heart-warming to see the altruism of others and to see how individuals and communities stand together. We must not forget the positives, even as we face tragedy.
To ask, as we do, how we want our bodies to be treated after death gives us the opportunity to learn what Jewish tradition has said for generations.
The pop sensation is in the news for writing in the guestbook at the Anne Frank museum that the young Jewish woman was a "great girl" and that she would be a "Belieber" if she were alive with him today. A question comes to mind in the present frenzy: Can anything be sacred?
We need to destroy evil by fighting it but also by modeling the alternative. We need to show the world that ordinary man is capable of being exceptional in his kindness, in his honesty, in his moral and spiritual stature.
These very different "shots heard round the world" should both call us to attention and remind us of everything we have to celebrate and be thankful. May those who are bereft be comforted. May those who sustained injuries find a healing of wholeness.
Even if life is tragic right now, even if it won't get better right now or tomorrow or the next day, I want to tell you that you have the power to transform yourself and transform your situation and to rise above. To go beyond.
Praise, even for love and justice, may seem hard to sing in the wake of yesterday's murderous attack in Boston. But it is precisely the One Who breathes and interbreathes all life, and makes such violence a wound in every soul and body, that we praise.
There are golf courses in Israel. And lessons to be learned while playing them.
As Israel celebrates its 65th birthday, we should pause to marvel at the many successes of the Jewish state. Democracies around the world, including the U.S., have taken centuries to achieve the type of political, social and economic advances that define Israel's existence today.
This is the time to sit with the anxiety, the ambiguity and the unknowability of our lives. This is the time to go down deep in to the deepest recesses of who we are, to find resources and riches we didn't know were there.
No matter your religion, your politics, your sexual orientation, your views on Rick Warren's views, please, be guided by the one value we all understand to be central to our lives: compassion.
Though it has become popular in our culture for people of influence to project supreme confidence, speak in dismissive tones and dominate the "conversation," Jewish tradition teaches that there are "seven traits that characterize a cultivated individual" -- they all have to do with how we communicate.
Over the centuries, there have been many different ways to decorate the Torah. Like all Judaica, there is no particular style of Jewish art. Jews adapted their decoration to whatever surrounding local style they were living in. Here are some examples.