Next Gen: the Moral Imperative of Sustainability

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Laws are rigid, often unforgiving and created to be applied equally. They exist for our protection, our safety, our well-being and the greater good. Alternatively, moral imperatives are the ideals that govern our actions — “doing the right thing.” Although a primary purpose is to reinforce that the world does not exist for our own… Read More

Accepting Communal Responsibility

After listing many other rules to help keep the Jewish people pure, Parshat Emor concludes by telling us about a man who blasphemes God. All those who heard him blaspheme God are to put their hands on his head and then stone him. God explains that anyone who commits blasphemy should be put to death… Read More

Stop the Cycle of Violence

This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Emor, contains a well-known verse allocating punishment on the level of “fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” This verse has been mistakenly associated with the brutal image of torn-off limbs, ripped-out eyes and a lot of blood. Luckily, as Jewish people, we do not generally believe that… Read More

A Hillel home run

As our son’s four years at Johns Hopkins University come to a close, we have been reflecting upon his experience (“Bonds that Bind,” April 25). Baseball has always been an enormous part of his life, made all the more meaningful by his connections with coaches and teammates, but we never anticipated that he’d make a… Read More

People over property … always

The wisdom of our precious Torah sages always bears repeating. With reference to the safety and welfare of the State of Israel and its inhabitants, the apparent choice is between the hawkish territorialism and revanchist, one-state pro-settler agenda of Marc Caroff and the Zionist Organization of America (Your Say, April 11) and the courageous and… Read More

Fighting a language barrier

In Avi Rudolph’s column “American Jewry must reclaim Hebrew” (April 25), the key word is “American.” Joke: What do you call someone who knows multiple languages? A multilingual; What do you call someone who knows two languages? A bilingual; What do you call someone who knows only one language? An American. Joke: An American is… Read More

Give Levinson his due

I enjoyed reading the article about Paul Reiser (“Still Funny After All These Years,” April 25), and I look forward to seeing and hopefully meeting him at BHC’s Night of the Stars. However, having gone to school with film director Barry Levinson and having followed his climb to fame, I respectfully point out that “Diner”… Read More

For Jews, a Russian threat

When confronted by a foreign crisis, my first concern is whether it is better or worse for Jews in the region (“Compromise of sorts in Ukraine,” April 25). Certainly, while troubling, the unprovoked action of Russia in seizing the Crimea did not directly affect the Jewish population of that area, instead fulfilling an anticipated long-term… Read More

A Seder for Yom HaShoah

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For more than a week, we reminded ourselves that the central obligation of Pesach is to relive the Exodus experience, as if the movement from slavery to freedom were taking place today. The selected text of the Haggadah also reflects this goal, as it is specifically about an Israeli farmer who himself is retelling the… Read More

In Howard County, a Federation that Cares

In 1976, my husband and I moved to Howard County. I was 24 years old, had been married for four years and had just purchased a home. I was called by a representative to pledge money for the Jewish Federation of Howard County. Our first pledge was for $50. I can remember this because at… Read More