Holistic Jewish Studies

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As summer draws to its inevitable close, I eagerly anticipate the back-to-school rituals that are invariably intertwined with the Jewish holidays. This year, the holidays are early. A rabbi once told me that the holidays are either early or late; they are never on time. I smile whenever I recall this notion. For those of… Read More

Time To Raise The Minimum Wage

Any discussion of the minimum wage should begin with the fact that Costco pays a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states. Compare that to the $7.25 minimum wage mandated by federal law, the state of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia and the $8.25 minimum wage in Washington, D.C. In Maryland, a new… Read More

Resolve And Hope On Yom Kippur

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With the High Holidays falling at the earliest time since 1899, they also coincide with the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In the dozen years since that fateful day of horror and tragedy, the initial sense of dread and helplessness has in many ways given way to resolve, hope and a greater understanding and… Read More

Thirty-One Years Of Jewish Journalism

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In March 1981, 52 Americans held hostage by Iran returned home via Andrews Air Force Base. I stood on a street in Prince George’s County, covering the event. Every tree, every pole had a yellow ribbon tied around it. At the time, I was working for the Prince George’s Journal, based in College Park. My… Read More

Connecting

There were two telephone lines in our New Jersey home. Liberty 8-7722 was the family line, and Liberty 8-4492 was my dad’s business line; 7722 was my line from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. No phone in my bedroom. I dragged the spirally, burgundy phone wire with the receiver attached to my ear all the way… Read More

You Are A Soul

Eureka! The moment a new idea comes to mind, a new project, a new way of doing things, a new understanding of a situation, is one of the most thrilling sensations possible. All the potential energy of the idea encapsulated into a moment. It’s the big bang of starting something new. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish… Read More

Hidden Star

Stepping forward one night at choir practice, 11-year-old Talya felt her head spin. When it came to solos, Talya’s voice came out sounding like a mix between a kazoo and a flute. She stood still, blushing. “You can do it,” Talya heard her older sister, Dini, whisper. Dini who was only three years older, seemed… Read More

One Big Conversation

“We are One,” say the United Jewish Appeal campaign signs. A friend and colleague remarks, “Really? Isn’t it God that is ‘One’?” So I wonder, is there a connection between the oneness of God and achdut Yisrael, the unity of the Jewish people? Evidence of our disunity abounds; achdut Yisrael is apparently not descriptive. We… Read More

Prescription Or Description?

A visit to a doctor may turn out with two kinds of statements: descriptions and prescriptions. The medical description is a diagnosis. The prescription might entail following a course of treatment or, for so many of us, being told simply to watch what we eat and exercise more. In a medical setting, we generally find… Read More