I started as a hardcore nerd whose wish for fairness and equality was deepened by watching Star Trek.
During my time in Israel, I refused to accept that our values are different, that peace is not possible. I witnessed the similarities of our values and the compatibility of our nature. We must relinquish fear and retain hope. In doing so, coexistence is near.
Just as the Jewish people could not have existed without the Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people cannot exist without a relationship with Shabbat.
"A fire is burning." This Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky declared to European Jewry in the 1930s. Too few heeded his cry. As I leave Paris after a solidarity mission following terrorist attacks at Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher, I offer a similar cry.
In a time where opinions around sexual thoughts and feelings are getting more and more extreme the introduction of this new podcast is a welcome step in the right direction. God commands humanity to be fruitful and multiply.
It is not often that orthodox Judaism is showcased on television in a positive light. Having grown up with two parents who became frum and having gone to orthodox Jewish schools myself, I am really intrigued by those who are able to show a love for this type of religious observance.
Targeting Jews meant attacking a community whose culture has one goal: bringing together the universal and the particular. Jewish values aspire to universality. But only by distinguishing ourselves can we embody these values, which makes it an impossible challenge.
It is hard to find a major religion or secular ideology that has not been used by some of its adherents to justify violence against others.
No matter how deeply Muslims and Catholics have been hurt, we should be reassured that most have the character to accept this as the cost of respecting individual rights.
Violence can seem like the only solution to people already experiencing the suffocation of dead endings. My hope is that the rest of us, instead of saying "What can you do?" say the same, but with a different intonation.
The proper response to the Charlie Hebdo murders is not to jail "blasphemers" of any persuasion, whether they hold a pen or a microphone.
With apparently religiously motivated murders spilling innocent blood across our news screens this past week come serious concerns about the role of religion in our world. And when fear rules the day, increased violence is never far behind.
The Jews of France are living in fear. Anti-Semitism has risen to alarming levels. Innocent lives have been cut down in anti-Semitic attacks.
Who would say that deadly acts and statements have never been committed in the name of a faith -- whichever faith it may be -- throughout history? What historian would explain away the "wars of religion" between European Christians in the 16th and 17th centuries as mere socio-economic casualties? What is the rationale behind this bastion of thought that, in recent days, led to the statements that this was a case of "madmen" who "distorted religion," as if there were religious elements purely detached from what these men did?
It is one thing to profess the values that all people are equal and that we celebrate diversity, but how many people of a different race do you have over for dinner? Do you live in your home what you say you believe?
That metal taste in my mouth is back, a nauseating combination of rage, shame and fear. It's been years since I have tasted it -- perhaps not since the last time someone drew a swastika on the whiteboard hanging on my dorm room door.