There is something sacred in the act of lighting a flame. This time of year brings many such rituals -- the Yule log, the Christmas candle and the Chanukah menorah, among others. Each, in its own way, reminds us that our lives need never be engulfed by darkness so long as we remember to kindle a light.
I developed eight ponderables to answer with my community over the eight nights of Chanukah. I post the queries on social media, and I enjoy my friends' responses.
Jews and Latinos are often discussed as different categories, but of course there are many Jewish communities across Latin America and some have made their way to the United States.
It's so easy to mindlessly spend money. It's so easy to feel disconnected from the spirit of the holiday and the essence of the people you're buying for when you're shopping (especially online and with credit cards).
Chanukah is one of the most relevant holidays to what I do. It is all about spreading light and what better way than by showing films to the public. But beyond the literal illumination that films provide, there is of course the simple symbolic concept of spreading stories that enlighten.
While December 7 marks the first of 8 days of Chanukah, every day marks the first of 365 days of worrying! What better way to celebrate than by watching a half-Jewish drag a cappella quartet sing a hilarious anthem to anxiety, "Don't Be Happy, Worry?"
I love the feel of the Torah. The parchment that I'm not supposed to touch, but always seems to call to me with its black letters and hard skin. I recently opened up one of our storied scrolls for a religious school class.
Conversation in the United States about religion and politics these days is less civilized, more contemptuous. This involves more than the Republican Party's survival in a diverse world. We're turning on neighbors who have been part of the fabric of our society for decades.
Undergraduates, you may at first think I am out of my mind with the title of this blog post, or blissfully oblivious of your end-of-term travails. Re...
We are facing a clear choice in the Syria refugees debate. We can give in to fear and hatred. Or we can stand up for American values, protect the defenseless, and fight for our own national security.
The good news is that there are many people in both of these religions who are capable of reclaiming the hopeful and loving and justice-oriented instincts that were there at the beginning and to create beautiful rituals to embody that energy.
It may sound tough to say that the terror caused by radical Islamists is caused by radical Islam, but it's no more than a simplistic diversion from the more difficult strategic question about how a pluralistic society prosecutes a "war on terror" without discarding its foundational values.
I happily join the 840,000 of my Catholic sisters and brothers in exhorting the COP21 negotiators to develop the international frameworks needed for a climate of justice.
I'd rather see the coffee giant invest in printing up Yuletide, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and other cups to choose from, along with a plain one for the unaffiliated. This would be welcome corporate recognition that diversity does not mean bland secularism and "holidays-ism."
I lived in the UK as Rabbi to the students of Oxford University for over eleven years. I participated in countless debates on Israel with some of the ...