The smartphone has become as ubiquitous as any organ in the human body. And while I strongly believe that as a tool (it is perhaps the most miraculous thing created on the planet), I'm also cognizant of it having made us into actual cyborgs.
Isn't it time to celebrate the common heritage of Judaism and Christianity, despite the differences between the two faiths? Isn't it time to endorse Pope Francis's bold statement: "A Christian cannot be anti-Semitic; his roots are Jewish"?
Life from their vantage point is still predictable, steady and under control. It's a comfort during this difficult time.
At the University of Southern California (USC), a giant story of Jewish history has been writ large in a small exhibition titled "Lives of the Great Patriotic War: The Untold Story of Soviet Jewish Soldiers in the Red Army during WWII."
The Jewish view of tattoos is more nuanced. It reflects the purposes skin markings filled in ancient culture and the reverence with which we are to treat our bodies.
Though most Americans identify as Christian (more than three quarters, according to the survey), there are at least 236 discernable faith groups in the U.S., according to an earlier study by the ASARB.
Will Hillary Clinton take Sheryl Sandberg's advice and lean in? Will she announce her candidacy for president even as she awaits the birth of her first grandchild? Would we ask such a question of Bill? The answers are of more than passing interest to me.
My great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki, was split between affinities: on the one hand, he was a painter of traditional Jewish life in Poland, settling his gaze upon scenes of synagogue, teaching, labor and leisure. On the other hand, his self-portraits reveal a man apart from the world he depicted.
Rabbi Pamela Barmash's teshuvah misses a ripe opportunity to re-examine our relationship to mitzvoth in a world that is hopefully breaking down hierarchy and gender roles and heading towards complete egalitarianism. Do we really perform mitzvoth because we feel obligated?
The Obama administration would have to challenge the Israeli government's hard line toward the Palestinians in order for the peace process to be successful. Unfortunately, the White House apparently had no interest in doing so.
On some level, I believed atheism was hereditary. That the composition of my DNA couldn't produce anything other than me. And so, when my first daughter was born, I made a conscious effort to introduce her to religion. I wanted to make sure that whatever beliefs she formed, they were of her own making, not mine.
Shortly after Chimen died, Sasha penned a wonderfully warm and evocative recollection of his grandfather in The Guardian. Now he has expanded that essay into a book, The House of Twenty Thousand Books, which brings his grandparents and their world to life.
However we preach, whatever we teach, whenever we speak, we should be prepared. How? Through a life of study, the practice of learning, even the discipline of memorizing.
Sicily continues to amaze me. The history here is so multi-layered and so ancient that I, from Boston with its proud and (very) young history, am overwhelmed and find it incomprehensible on many levels when faced with 8000 years or so of history.
This is a deeply religious and spiritual book, well grounded in both theory and practice, and deeply rooted in Judaism as well as other contemporary religious thinkers, such as Rev. Martin Luther King, Gandhi and others.
We find a lot of information in letters no one touched for years. Reading in between the lines of the censored letters and short telegrams we are learning about what life was like in the big city, the beautiful moments, the hopes and plans, the attempts, the downfall, the wrong decisions, the despair.