I wear some unusual garments as a rabbi: the leather straps of tefillin during weekday prayer services; a fringed shawl-like tallit, often tied as a cape, as I run up and down flights of stairs on…Shabbat; a white kittel and Keds on Yom Kippur; dreidel leggings on Hanukkah; a fruit dress on Tu Bishvat; a Moses beard and biblical-style robe on Passover; even a Torah costume, to dance with my community on Simchat Torah. Never, though, have I felt as self-conscious about my dress as last Friday, when I went to… >> Read More
They came for the First Amendment on Shabbat. It was the first Shabbat following a full week of the new administration, and I was exhausted. The new president was proving to be at least as terrible…as a lot of us had feared. I needed the rest. I turned away from the news--just for the evening, just for dinner with friends. I didn't hear about the ban until the next morning, when I found out that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries were being held at airports across the United States, green… >> Read More
I have a very special friend. This particular friend used to own the nursery school that I attended when I was 3 years old. I went there until kindergarten, and my brothers went there as well. She…has been a part of my life for 40 years. Her name is Ann. Ann has always been more like a grandmother to me than just a friend. She treated my siblings and me with as much love as she treated her own family. She and my mom became friends all those decades ago and… >> Read More
We just had a little party for my first grade son. It wasn’t a birthday party or a welcome home party or any other type of party with which you might be familiar.
It was a book party.
I’m…not sure where I first heard this idea, but I assume that I didn’t just come up with it myself. When each of my early-readers finished his first real book all by himself, we throw him a party. My youngest guy started reading this year and about a month ago he picked up a 50-60… >> Read More
The Super Bowl is always known for its many commercials that make us laugh and cry. This year, there were two commercials that really stood out to us, as they explored racial and religious diversity…in a refreshing way. The two commercials were Google's "Home" and Coca Cola's "It's Beautiful." Both commercials shared one major similarity: They celebrated the universal love all families share--and illustrated that families don't just come in one race or religion in America--they come from all kinds of places and beliefs. In both ads, Jewish life was celebrated--which was… >> Read More