Water as Torah

This Shabbat, we read the haftorah from the Book of Jeremiah. During his lifetime, Jeremiah, the prophet, remembered the exile of the Northern Kingdom by the Assyrians, when the Ten Tribes were led into captivity. The Israelites were worshiping idols and foreign gods, and Jeremiah understood that they had to be punished for their lack… Read More

Mitzvot and Faith Parshat Behar-Bechukotai

In this week’s double parshah, Behar-Bechukotai, the Israelites are instructed how to take care of the land of Israel. The shmita year, the seventh year, was created to make sure that the land would not be worked continuously so that it could replenish itself. As an agricultural society, Israelites would grow crops to produce food… Read More

College Doesn’t Turn Jews from Judaism

In a recent analysis of U.S. religious groups, the Pew Research Center reported that the most educated American Jews are also the least religious. In considering these findings, it’s tempting to think that secular education leads to assimilation among American Jews. The reason this might make sense: In a diverse, open society, education can draw… Read More

The Threat Within

This country has been good for us, and we have prospered (“When You’re Here, You’re Family,” May 12). We are safe and integrated into society. But one of the ironies is that this has enabled many Jews to drift and be absorbed into society and gradually lose contact with their roots and brethren. Others choose… Read More

People of the Book Chekhov Aleichem

In interviews, Amos Oz often talks about the revelations Chekhov gave him. When he first read Chekhov, he realized he could write about the people he knew — their disappointments, failures, thwarted aspirations (and Chekhov, the great poet of the disappointing life, knew how to write differently about all three). Chekhov writes about rural Russia, but… Read More

When You’re Here, You’re Family Parshat Emor

Since Judaism teaches that all Jews are responsible for each other, the hemorrhaging of the number of diaspora Jews actively involved in Jewish life, or even identifying as Jews, is a source of grave concern. How might we inspire our Jewish siblings to remain within, or return to, Jewish tradition? We must remember that the… Read More

Can Trump Survive Abbas?

There was something of a motivational speaker about President Donald Trump as he welcomed Mahmoud Abbas, the geronto-crat at the helm of the Palestinian Authority for the last 12 years, to the White House on May 3. At their joint appearance, Trump was confident and beaming. Abbas, in turn, came across as eager and respectful…. Read More

Being Zayde Saying Goodbye is a Gift

Who likes saying goodbye? No one does really, but it can also be the greatest gift. My mom passed away two days after her 62nd birthday, and that was more than 18 years ago. Of course, I miss her and think of her often as I try to keep her memory alive for me and… Read More

Pillars of Community

As our Jewish institutions age, so do its members, and with that comes the task of finding the next generation of philanthropists, volunteers and organizers. Fortunately, some community stalwarts foster change even as they celebrate many decades of service. As you’ll read in this week’s JT, members of the Covenant Guild have been engaging in… Read More