A Seder for Israel?

The idea of a seder (“order”), using a haggadah (a “make-telling” text) to tell a spiritual story, is wired into Jewish life. Jews call ourselves a “People of the Book,” but first we’re a “People of the… Continue reading

Smashing Success: Democracy and Discontent

“Democracy,” quipped Winston Churchill, “is the worst form of government except for all the others.” This week’s Torah portion (Ki Tisa) couldn’t agree more. While awaiting Moses’ return from atop Sinai, the people… Continue reading

Jewish Renewal, our Judaism, and parashat Terumah

Temple Beth El, Stamford CT Shabbat Terumah March 4 2017 * 6 Adar 5777 Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Josh, Matt, Stuart and the Men’s Club – thank you for your warm welcome and for… Continue reading

In a lonely world, virtual gatherings can provide comfort

Jennifer was in Florida mourning her mother’s death. Friends and colleagues were literally around the globe – from Israel, to all four continental U.S. time zones, to New Zealand. Geographically so far away,… Continue reading

Truth and Consequences

There’s the old TV game show “Truth or Consequences,” and the New Mexico city by that name, originally named for the eponymous NBC radio show. But how about “Truth and Consequences”? This week’s… Continue reading

Who is Worthy to Lead: The Torah of Modern Politics

This week’s Torah portion (Yitro) offers a key lesson for today’s politics. It comes just before the fateful Ten Commandments scene at Sinai. Moses father-in-law, Yitro, teaches his son-in-law how to delegate power… Continue reading

The value of acknowledging misperceptions

Here’s a true story about false impressions – and the wisdom (and holy risk) of voicing them aloud. In my day job, I preside in hundreds of judicial proceedings. I take seriously a judge’s… Continue reading

Coming and Going

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and this week’s Torah portion (Bo, or “Come!”) – named for a word seemingly gone wrong – have something in common. First the Torah, then the Theory: “God said to… Continue reading

How to Be a “Player” in Jewish Life

What does it take to be a “player” in Jewish life? No, not that kind of “player.” I mean, what does it take to be a responsible and influential participant in the Jewish… Continue reading

Prayer for the Musmachot

These are the names of the daughters of Israel Who came into the womb of narrow unknowing Each with her household, to be rebirthed anew, Called by name at the moment of becoming… Continue reading