In The End, Cheaters Always Get A Failing Grade

Raphi and I were walking home from school one day when I playfully jeered him for getting such good grades. “How do you do it?” I said with a smile. My life changed forever with his answer: “I cheat.” “You what?” My mouth dropped opened, and I just stood there staring at my friend; I… Read More

Parshat Shelach Have Faith, And No Goal Is Too Lofty

Imagine you are one of the 12 spies that were sent to scout Israel in this week’s parsha. You are “a distinguished man, one of the heads of the Children of Israel” (Numbers 13:3). Like everyone else, you’ve experienced the daily miracles in the camp of Israel: manna from the heaven like dew, water appearing… Read More

In The End, Cheaters Always Get A Failing Grade

Raphi and I were walking home from school one day when I playfully jeered him for getting such good grades. “How do you do it?” I said with a smile. My life changed forever with his answer: “I cheat.” “You what?” My mouth dropped opened, and I just stood there staring at my friend; I… Read More

Parshat Shelach Have Faith, And No Goal Is Too Lofty

Imagine you are one of the 12 spies that were sent to scout Israel in this week’s parsha. You are “a distinguished man, one of the heads of the Children of Israel” (Numbers 13:3). Like everyone else, you’ve experienced the daily miracles in the camp of Israel: manna from the heaven like dew, water appearing miraculously from the… Read More

An Honest Mistake

It was my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. For their special day, Dad had commissioned a piece from an Italian glass blower. Mom loved fancy lamps, so Dad bought her a Morano handmade chandelier. It had cost him a pretty penny, and it had taken the artist half a year to create. You should have seen… Read More

Lighting a Fire

When we enter this week’s parsha, Beha’alotecha, God is speaking for the first time from inside theMishkan (Tabernacle), from the space above the ark. God instructs Moses to tell Aaron that he should mount and light the lamps of the menorah and to show Aaron how to do so.

Torah and Liberty

On a recent outing with my students to visit the extraordinary National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, we took a short detour to the Liberty Bell Center, which sits conveniently across Independence Mall from the NMAJH.  There is tremendous symbolism to the balance of the particular story of the Jewish people in America… Read More

Glimpse Of The Divine

It was one of my first days as a chaplain resident at the University of Virginia Health System. As I visited patients during my regular rounds, I entered the room of a middle-aged man who was being treated for cancer.  We were different ages and came from dissimilar communities and backgrounds.  I was just 30;… Read More

Where Are We Going, What Are We Doing?

A few years ago, I took a trip to Phoenix. The highlight was a day-long outing to the Grand Canyon. If you have been there, you know how absolutely breathtaking the first sight of the Grand Canyon is. After looking out into the canyon for quite some time, I decided to engage in one of… Read More

Lessons Of A ‘Loser’: How Chaim Gained His Confidence

I hated recess. No one believes me, but it is true. Our recess looked something like this: Ari would split the boys up into teams for kickball.  I was mostly chosen last. “Can’t you kick a ball?”  Ari, the oldest guy in class, would yell from the grass, as I was up to the plate…. Read More