It has been nearly one hundred years since April 24, 1915 -- the infamous day when Armenian intellectuals of the Ottoman Empire were rounded up in the dead of night and sent to be executed in inland concentration camps in Ayash and Chankari.
"Why do Jews go to Florida?" I asked my mother as we were driving to Florida from New Jersey. "Because we're smart!" she answered.
We cannot always control what we lose or gain in life's transitions, and even the happiest transitions (like getting married or becoming parents) can be jarring. I don't always get to choose how my name will be spelled or said. But sometimes, I get to choose how I will hear it.
Coming from a Middle Eastern Orthodox heritage, and insulated from lesbian and gay communities, it takes a rebellion to change age-old customs. Rabbi Wolpe took the chance. He risked losing up to half of his Persian congregants. The financial loss would have been substantial, and the split painful.
If you'd asked me, when I was a comic book-loving Jewish girl coming of age in 60s Detroit, besotted with Batman and following Superman's every adventure, what I wanted to do when I grew up, I may well have described exactly what Steve Bergson does today.
Mania Golberg sat in her dining room in Roswell, Georgia; explaining what it was like to hide in a dark underground cave in Ukraine for 344 days during the Holocaust. The enormity of what Mania lived through seemed somehow misaligned with the frail 85 year old Jewish woman sitting next to me kneading her hands.
Those of us with privilege need to be vigilant about standing up for those who are marginalized and oppressed. Like Joseph we need to find our hidden voice and courageously speak out for freedom and justice for all.
What will flow is a greater love and a more profound kindness that finally realizes it is the very same love and kindness awakening within me as a Jew or a Christian, as a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist.
Dear God, in a world radiant with blessing, may I never hoard my good fortune but offer it to your children with an open hand, an eager heart and a spirit that honors You.
Most people are familiar with the story of the Ten Commandments. The short version is that God called Moses to Mount Sinai where he gave him two tablets of stone that contained the Ten Commandments.
Personally, I love Christmas, Christmas music, Christmas TV specials, and most of all Christmas vacation. So while I'm otherwise on mine, here are my top 12 Christmas songs for this year.
So that's the first challenge for the Jewish community when it comes to science -- while the Christian community grapples with how to embrace science, the Jewish community has to figure out how to relate to Judaism.
In the Torah portion for this week (Vayigash), Joseph, having grown in power and influence in Egypt after his brothers left him for dead in the desert many years before, now reveals his true identity to his assembled siblings.
So for those who wish to celebrate the spiritual enlightenment of the Rabbi from Galilee for his embodiment of peace and love, they can comfortably do so. Merry Christmas.
The lovely blue glass container holds a small roll of parchment on which is written the traditional Jewish prayer that begins, "Shema Yisrael." For those in the know, this mezuzah reveals that those who live in the house are Jewish.