On the Shabbat of May 15-16, the Torah reading (Leviticus 25-27) sets forth the Torah's most explicit and most powerful regimen for healing the Earth from human over-use.
Every man, woman and child has a story. For some it is found in the most unlikely of places, during one of the most horrific of times, where actions of a few meant life versus death. Mine is a story of survival: my own and my family's.
Israel's policies can be legitimately criticized by fair-minded observers, but the criticism must be legitimate and it must be fair. And college and university officials must rebuke any campus organizations that pervert support for Israel into a modern-day scarlet letter.
Rachel Zacharia always knew she was Jewish. Her father, a Party official, read and wrote in Yiddish, and her parents spoke Yiddish with friends. But she didn't start thinking about her Jewish identify until 1968.
It is a fact that the story of America cannot be truthfully told without the story of people of African descent. If we are going to close the gap and confront racism, we need to learn and understand others' history and way of life.
The sight of pregnant women and small children was too much for me; I left their presence in tears. But it was when my mother refused to allow me to visit because she "needed to build a relationship with the one who could still give her grandchildren" that I felt truly broken.
I look forward to the sermons, which remind me of my Chumash and Talmud classes, where hidden meaning behind the scriptures and stories are revealed. I get excited when the pastor references the Old Testament, or a passage that I recognize, and imbues it with a new perspective.
For many years, I and many other people I know have had trouble commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. I can't bear to view the official state ceremonies on television, broadcast from Yad Vashem, with all their clichés and us-against-the-world ideology.
Today, we join together to remember the six million European Jews murdered by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. The people of Israel and those from all around the world will pause today for Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom Hashoah.
The organizers behind the Jewish Rescuers Citation Award ceremony view believe it is especially important to expose Jewish youth to the phenomena of Jewish rescue during the Holocaust as a model for Jewish solidarity and courage.
Today, on Equal Pay Day, we lift up the fight against wage discrimination, an affront to our moral sensibility. Unjustly paying some workers less than others undermines their value and their dignity as human beings and constitutes an intolerable act of discrimination.
It's the shoes that make me cry. In a photo of my mother from 1924, I am drawn to her scuffed Mary Jane shoes. I remember my grandchildren toddling in their Robeez. In 1944-45, Jews were told to remove their shoes and then shot and pushed into the river. Only their shoes remained behind. Some of them were so tiny.
People who have converted to Judaism often tell me about holiday overload. They go from celebrating a handful of holidays to almost a dozen. Yet, above and beyond the holidays we have certain practices, one of which I did not learn about until rabbinical school.
Some might suggest that it is the charisma, success or personalities of my Muslim friends that draws me to their words. Yet, I think this understates the meaning of the progressive and distinctively American form of Islam that they articulate and live out.
The Ba'al Tefila (prayer leader) was old, probably in his 80s, his complexion wan, his hair snow white and thin, his posture stooped, but his voice was strong enough to reach every part of the large main sanctuary.
What does it mean to be "Israel"? We must remember that there is an "Israel" broader than the State. "Israel" is the name of a People also.