Genealogy Only Goes So Far Parshat Bo

Why is the killing of the firstborn the final, and most significant, plague? True, it brought death into every household, rattling Egypt at its foundations, but certainly the plagues of hail — really, fire in blocks of ice falling from the sky — or total, crippling darkness for three days and nights were not inconsequential… Read More

Three Important Things about Inclusion

I am a college student in the Washington, D.C., area and throughout the years have thought extensively about inclusion and disabilities. When I was 4, my family learned that I was on the autism spectrum; and I’ve attended a variety of special education programs, such as the Sulam program housed at the Torah School of… Read More

People of the Book Never Change, Pikesville, Never Change

Last year, to my astonishment, I started attending a synagogue. I won’t say its name, but it’s an urban synagogue full of exemplary people of principle who realize that Jewish values mean little unless they can be practiced in the world, ministering to people who do not have the advantages of the smug isolation that… Read More

People of the Book Barack Obama: Jew

When you read “Dreams from My Father,” the first thing to strike you is the freedom with which Obama’s family shaped its identity. Obama’s story is one of self-discovery. No Jew discovers himself, he’s told what he is from birth and discovers his place within his roots. The Dunhams, uprooted by the Great Depression, move… Read More

Too Many Lines Being Drawn

One of us is Orthodox; the other Reform. One of us is active in J Street and the other is a member of the Zionist Organization of America. On matters relating to peace and security in Israel, our perspectives are vastly different. What draws the two of us together is recognition that we are each… Read More

Appreciating Jewish Connections

Mazel Tov! I am helping my daughter plan her wedding in Israel. She has lived in Israel since she went on a gap year and she is surrounded by many of her closest friends from Baltimore who, like her, made aliyah, served in the IDF, attended university and established their lives in the Jewish state…. Read More

Embracing the Jewish Pirate

I’ve been to several Purim parties where more than one guest, capitalizing off of the black beard that is common to many an Orthodox man, has worn colonial getup and an eye patch to attend as the dreaded pirate Schwartzbord. The premise is tacitly hilarious, for who, excepting maybe Mel Brooks, would think of a… Read More

Less Hope for Two-State Solution

It’s bad enough that Obama allowed and reportedly encouraged the recent U.N. resolution against Israel. Adding to the damage was former Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework for peace. Notably, he called for reparations for Arab refugees from the Arab-Israeli conflict, but said nothing about the greater number of Jewish refugees. Kerry alluded to Israel’s security… Read More

Caught in the Middle

President Donald Trump appeared to be addressing his core supporters rather than the nation during his inaugural address last Friday. There was no outstretched hand to the other side, no inclusive reference to “my fellow Americans,” and no soaring rhetoric projecting the United States’ leadership role in the world. What Trump delivered with a clenched… Read More

Give Trump a Chance

I am ashamed and disappointed in the way many of my fellow Jews are acting with regards to the swearing in of our new president, Donald J. Trump (“Groups Ready for March on Washington,” Jan. 13). This is not the Jewish way. Yes, we all have the right to protest, but what are you protesting… Read More