Lessons learned from saying yes to a differently-abled bar mitzvah boy

“They” said “Jon” couldn’t possibly manage a bar mitzvah. Jon is a teen with physical, cognitive and emotional special needs, whose parents heard “can’t” countless times from countless people in so-called authority. “They” are… Continue reading

What’s Pure?

It’s been awhile since I heard the word “pure” except to describe olive oil and Ivory soap – maybe also mountain spring water and 24 carat gold, but not much else. What sense… Continue reading

The Healing Sound of Silence

He was hurting. He had shared with me bad news about his personal life, and now it seemed my turn to speak. The seconds of silence while he waited were pregnant, deafening, heavy… Continue reading

Your Holy Uplift

Some values are timeless, but how we express them can change over time. This week’s Torah portion (Tzav) uplifts this idea through the example of how we handle shame and guilt. What Torah… Continue reading

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