Take Madonna's Kabbalah study. Most folks see the pop icon's immersion in this obscure wing of Jewish mysticism as another narcissistic celebrity accoutrement, like Paris Hilton's dog or Angelina Jolie's children. But hold up: Could this judgement stem from our own spiritual insecurity?
I'm sure you can think immediately of situations, both in the news, and in your own life, where it would help for someone to face with humility his or her own lapses and shortcomings.
Some in the U.S. concluded that at long last, Tehran desires a thaw in its relations with Washington and a normalization. I remain skeptical, hoping they are correct, but unwilling to make that leap for a number of reasons.
I want to model my behavior for my technologically dependent children. I want them to be thoughtful and kind in texts, and in all social media.
We are not born in sin; we are each born with powerful tendencies to both good and evil and the drama of human character is in the struggle and balance between the two. The corrective mechanism is teshuva, repentance.
Rabbis all over the world work hard to make sure that their High Holy Days sermons are uniquely theirs and that they project their unique rabbinic voice to their community.
In the Torah, we are first introduced to the term Hineni when we read about Akedat Yitzchak, the Binding of Isaac, in Chapter 22 of Genesis. When God calls out to Abraham, prior to commanding him to sacrifice his son, Abraham responds, "Hineni."
We all wear masks. We wear a mask to hide our self-perceived faults and weakness: the mask of certainty when we are shaken, the mask of gregariousness when we might be shy the mask of humor when we're hurting, the mask of a victim when we're not.
Imagine a time in the past year that you acted unskillfully. Allow yourself to feel that weight of responsibility. Think to yourself, "if I in any way was a cause of suffering, whether consciously or unconsciously, I ask for forgiveness."
It appears that in Massachusetts, educational reform does not mean vouchers for private schools, closing poorly performing schools, eliminating tenure for teachers, merit pay, and replacing public schools with privately operated charters.
Tashlik, the casting away of regrets, is by far our favorite new year tradition. It surpasses the big meal and the white clothes, the honey cake and the days off from school. I wouldn't have it any other way. Here's why.
How fitting that we recount Genesis and the story of creation on Rosh Hashanah. How fitting that we study the original story of all stories. For it is a holiday all about stories and the potential that we have to create and refine them.
It didn't matter that I confused Shavuot with Sukkot or had epically bad Hebrew pronunciation or even that I didn't know if I could give up Christmas carols, I could bake a first-rate challah. The rest would work itself out.
Every year on Rosh Hashana, Jews worldwide read about Abraham and Sarah's casting out of Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness. And every year, I have felt profoundly uncomfortable with it.
Before you say you're sorry, stop doing the bad behavior. Trying to apologize while still doing the wrong thing is like trying to bail water out of your basement without fixing the leak.
I believe in the power of brisket. I believe that when I combine sour cream, eggs, cottage cheese and noodles into a kugel, I honor my grandmother.