School safety. These are two words that have especially been on our minds for the past four months. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., was a sudden wakeup call for us all. It reminded us of our vulnerability. I, for one, have always been a proponent of safety. Over the years, I have… Read More
As Earth Day approaches, we must ask ourselves: Have we been good stewards of the land? Professor Arnold M. Eisen of the Jewish Theological Seminary perceives this parsha as the Biblical-era “way for the community to set itself right with God and one another.” Eisen references medieval commentator Nahmanides: “The deeds of the ancestors are a sign… Read More
This column was written before the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. I would like to dedicate my piece, on the joy of running, to all those who were killed or maimed in the event. Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I love this time of year. It’s not because I can… Read More
In this week’s double Parsha,Tazria/Metzora, the Torah teaches about a spiritual malady that manifested itself physically in the form of scaly patches on the skin. This disease,tzara’at, is often mistranslated as leprosy, but they are two separate conditions with two different sets of symptoms.
Maayan Jaffe There is something about “Hatikvah.” Every time I hear the Israeli national anthem, I get chills. Sometimes, tears. It is a short message, but one that gets to the heart of who we are as a Jewish people. The lyrics: “As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart, with… Read More
As Christians and Jews gather during their respective Easter and Passover holidays this weekend, we recall all that American Jews and liberal Protestants have accomplished together. But pride in the past should not blind us to the danger that this relationship could be derailed by pernicious responses to the Arab-Israeli conflict within certain churches.
At first read, it seems difficult to find a convergent theme for parshat Shemini. The parsha begins with the inauguration of the Mishkan, God’s “earthly dwelling place.” The great happiness of this inauguration is clouded by the death of Nadav and Avihu, two of Aaron’s sons, who had brought an “alien offering” (10:2). However, Aaron’s enigmatic silence… Read More
Everyone loved Shana. In her quiet way, Shana would ask the girls to play jump rope or sardines at recess. She would spend time reading quietly in her room. I was one of her biggest fans — until the day the trouble began. It was the middle days of Passover, and Shana had come over… Read More
In the Torah reading for Shabbat Chol Hamoed, Moshe makes an interesting request. He asks God: “Hareini na et kivodecha” (Exodus 33:18), which literally translates as “Show me your honor.” Moshe knew God better than anyone. He spoke to God directly. It was through Moshe that God performed many miracles. So what did he mean… Read More
It was just over a month ago that my 5-year-old daughter’s Purim play took place on a Tuesday. Tuesday, in my world, is production day. That means from when I get in that morning until I go home, usually very late that evening, I am reading and editing pages, finalizing story lists, determining the paper’s… Read More