I'm often asked whether suicide is a "choice," and of course in some literal sense it is. Yet it's a decision profoundly influenced by the hopelessness, distorted thinking, and compromised decision-making that can result from serious mental illnesses.
For most of my life, I thought of Yom Kippur as a time for fear and trembling, a time for deep, powerful, intense work, and of course fasting and other forms of self-affliction. But somewhere along the way, I got to see another face of the day -- one of dancing, singing and celebration as we ask for our lives to be rendered anew.
On Friday Jews around the world will confess their sins. One of the central prayers of the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) worship service is Ashamnu, which means "We have sinned." The prayer consists of 24 lines describing sins we have committed.
We Remember reminds us, that regardless of religion, we are fundamentally similar. As the Jewish High Holidays have returned, I thought what better time to chat with the Hebrew Hillbilly herself.
No doubt, it is our natural instincts as parents to protect our kids from any harm. To watch them suffer is harder on us -- many times -- than on them.
Nothing interesting is happening on the dinner table, although it's hard to say just how many days, since as a dog, I have no sense of time whatsoever. But apparently, those are the days on which most of the atoning gets done.
Could it be that Loehmann's has risen from the dead??
Imagine this: One instant ago, your body had weight and heat and heartbeat. And then, with one final long breath, all that is truly you rises like carbon bubbles of light, pressed to the ceiling.
As we head into the Jewish New Year, we take with us the challenges of an eventful summer punctuated by racial unrest. The death of Michael Brown, like that of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin before him, are tragedies that jolt us out of complacency.
Someday, the Ninth of Av will change from a day of destruction to a day of celebration. How can we speed up the process? ...
"Where are you from?" is a question I can never quite answer without using the phrase "Then I moved to..." five times. A single place that I can call 'home' has never existed -- the world, and its countless cultures, is where I find solace.
The story of Jonah is how a mortal man tried to run away from the mission his Creator had gifted to him. He was subsequently swallowed by an enormous fish which spit him out onto dry land only when he resolved to return to his true mission in life.
A few weeks ago I was filling out paperwork to see a new doctor for a checkup. The questions seemed straightforward, until one stumped me: Are you religious?
While no one can deny the stark differences that exist between the traditions, I would like to put greater focus on the similarities. We spend enough time differentiating ourselves from others, which only leads to factions.
Halloween chocolate haunts me. October 31st's abundant temptations of free, sugary treats, with chocolate being the most popular, bumps up against my religious consciousness. Which will prevail?
This is not only about the Washington Navy Yard and Sandy Hook and Colorado and Virginia Tech, horrific events that make headlines; it is also about the over 300 people, including 50 children, that are shot every day in America.