Looking To Learn From Boston

We have much to learn from the Boston bombing. Now that suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is under arrest and charged with one count of using a weapon of mass destruction and one count of malicious destruction of property resulting in death—which could bring him the death penalty—political and security chiefs need to examine how this tragic… Read More

Counted

Fifty general sessions, eight Little Limmud sessions, one amazing opening session facilitated by Jakir Manela and an eye-opening lunch program discussing the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Gwynn Oak Park. Ten pounds of egg salad, 150 bagels, 200 desserts.  Four Taste of Limmud events, 16 Divrei Torah in the Baltimore Jewish Times, hundreds of flyers… Read More

Keeping Your School Safe

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

A Modern Spiritual Earth Day Interpretation

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

On The Run

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

Skin-Deep Storytelling

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.

Only In Israel

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

Opposing Churches On Israel

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.

B’Teavon

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

Forgiving Shana

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