The Saudi Situation

The official announcement that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had been taken into a Riyadh hospital “to undergo some medical checkups” suggests serious concern about the health of the 91-year-old monarch because he is assumed to have excellent medical facilities in his own palaces. Theoretically, his successor would be his half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, who… Read More

Supersessionism on the Big Screen

Much has been written about how “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is unfaithful to the biblical narrative. A movie is midrash, exploring a biblical text. That is why I am not troubled with adding an Israelite elder named Nun, a character absent in the biblical text except in Joshua’s patronym ben Nun, nor with the plagues… Read More

A Lot to Fear, but I Choose Hope

Another secular year has ended and a new secular year has begun. It’s time to review and time to plan. What can be different in the coming year? And while the yearly refrain of “the more things change, the more they stay the same” repeats in our thoughts, I can’t just accept what has been…. Read More

Tikkun Olam in Baltimore

Recently, I broke off a little before the end of the powerful Millions March against police brutality in Baltimore to warm up with tea and chili at the Lost City Diner. I was proud to have joined Baltimoreans of all walks of life, including many of my fellow organizers of Jews United for Justice (JUFJ… Read More

Bag (Ac)counting

Here’s a quick mental exercise: How many reusable bags do you own? Do they make it into the store with you on your various shopping excursions? For many years, my family had a small supply of reusable bags that we had divided between our cars so that we would have them on hand when running… Read More

On Being a Member of the Tribe

I spend a great deal of time traveling as a scholar-in-residence, speaking primarily on the topic of sustainability as refracted through the prism of a Torah lifestyle. Venues typically include synagogues, Hillels and Chabad Houses, JCCs and various environmental conferences. Several years ago, I was asked to participate in the Tribal Lands Climate Conference sponsored… Read More

Everyday Miracles

FTV_Terrill_Marc

The Hebrew phrase nes gadol hayah sham, “a great miracle happened there,” is widely heard as Jews worldwide celebrate Chanukah. It punctuates every game of dreidel. The story of the great miracle — of one day’s worth of oil burning for eight days in the ancient Temple — is passed down from generation to generation…. Read More

Maryland, Israel Share Cyber Security Strengths

“In the cyber domain there are no sirens,” Prime Minister Netanyahu told Israel’s fourth annual international cyber security conference last month, according to the The Jerusalem Post. Case in point is “Operation Cleaver,” a suspected Iranian hacking cabal that has targeted 16 countries, including the U.S. and Israel for two years. U.S. security firm Cylance,… Read More

Israel’s Emerging Muslim-majority Ally

Beginning in the early 1990s, Turkey became the one Muslim-majority country that maintained a robust strategic relationship with Israel. The two countries developed strong trade ties. Israel helped update the Turkish air force, and Turkey allowed the Israeli air force to train in its airspace. There were major plans underway to further upgrade strategic ties…. Read More

Best Decision I Ever Made

What is BBYO? I probably hear this question at least two times every day from family, friends and teachers, Jewish and not. Here’s the simple answer: BBYO is a Jewish pluralistic youth movement for ninth- through 12-graders to have meaningful experiences and connect to their Judaism. However, if you asked me what BBYO is, that’s… Read More