As a rule, I try not to criticize the choices of others. If they have earned or inherited their piles of money, who am I to stand in judgement of how they spend it? Actually, I'm officially tossing that rule out the window, effective immediately.
The ability to stop and breathe is one of the most important -- and neglected -- skills we have. We often don't take a moment and just breathe into a situation, and too often we panic and forget ourselves.
I once belonged more to the "Nones" than anything else. I checked Jewish on the box, but that mark was more about a cultural than religious identity. In my teens, I felt disconnected from Judaism. I was a religious school dropout at 12. But at age 41, I was in a much different place.
Although many cultures have coming of age rituals, in most of the U.S. three kinds of parties take center stage: Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Quinceañeras and Sweet 16 parties. Like the children who have them, these parties are undergoing changes and those changes have become big business.
This year marks a double simcha for American Jews. It is the 40th anniversary of the ordination of the first woman rabbi and the 90th anniversary of the first girl to become a bat mitzvah during a worship service.
At the Bar Mitzvah, I couldn't help but think that the tribe had done this young man a great service, literally surrounding him with family and friends expressing loving affirmation and setting high expectations for his future.
I am joining those kids whose parents have lost their jobs and lost their homes and I want to be counted among the people who are trying to change America back to being a place we can all be proud of living in.
These days, memoirists are a dime a dozen. They should update the saying to, "Those who can no longer do, write memoirs. Those who can't write memoirs, teach. Those who can't teach, also write memoirs."
How ironic that a people who have survived forced baptisms are now drowning in an ocean of profligacy. Rabbis should be thundering from the pulpit that extravagant weddings are an abrogation of Jewish values.