Religion Today

Rabbinic Reflections: City upon a hill

My grandfather told the story of his escape. The Czar’s army on one side and the Bolshevik revolutionaries on the other, he left his town in Russia in an uncovered wagon. He had to lay flat as bullets whizzed overhead and often lodged in the side of the wagon. Behind him, his neighbors jeered, angry to lose their last remaining tailor. Somehow, he made it to America, ...

 
 

Applied Belief: Sex is all you need

In 1967, the Beatles released their infamous song “Love is all you need.” This song came out during a time deemed in popular culture as the “sexual revolution.” Now for transparency let me be clear I was not around in 1967 nor was I even a thought in my parent’s minds since they were 15 and 12 years old then. This song highlights the concept of love and that in the ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: I am not afraid

On Monday, Jan. 9, a bomb threat was called in simultaneously to 16 different Jewish Community Centers, including the one in Wilmington. You can read more, here. My school, Albert Einstein Academy Jewish Day School, is on that campus. Immediately upon receiving word about the threat, we evacuated our K-5 elementary school students. Our students and staff got out of ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Lighting, not lights

Now is the time to take back Hanukkah! Enough with the “Happy Holidays.” No need for a national chanukiyah [Hanukkah menorah] (nor local public square ones). Let’s give up on outdoor light displays to compete with neighbors’ Christmas lights (full disclosure, I staunchly supported such competition in the past). In fact, let’s stop using the chanukiyah’s allotment of ...

 

Applied Belief: God doesn’t need you

Merry Christmas! Yes, it is that time of year again. It is truly amazing that we are less than 30 days from a new year. It has been a long year and many are excited to celebrate Christmas and move on to 2017. With a new year comes new challenges, but also the opportunity once more to try to keep and achieve some resolutions that you have tried every new year. As we ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Internally ever after

I planned to write about the Cubs winning the World Series. Rabbi Solomon Schechter, the second president of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, from which I am ordained, famously said, “Gentleman, in order to succeed in the American rabbinate, you must be able to talk baseball.” Indeed, the 108-year wait to win a World Series had taken on messianic ...

 

Applied Belief: Jesus and the Cubs

Who cares who wins the election? The Cubs have won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. If anyone needed a silver lining in this election year, there you have it! Now in a few days from the publishing of this article we probably will know who will be the next President of the United States. It feels as though this has been the longest election cycle in ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: A God of account

Is God love? Is God king? Are the two mutually exclusive? I spent the recent Jewish High Holy Days gripped by these questions. It all started when I heard a rabbi ask children at a family service how they think of God. The answers were generationally very different and in stark contrast to the themes and tropes of the High Holy Days. Immediately, I wanted time to ...

 

Applied Belief: Elephants, donkeys and heroin

This election feels like it has gone on for 10 years. It has lasted a long time, for sure. Throughout the past several months there has been an ongoing debate within the Christian world about whom Christians should vote for this election. Christians have been torn because, like many Americans, they see that both top polling options aren’t very appealing. I have ...

 

Rabbinic Reflections: Awaken hands and feet

The shofar is calling. Each morning for the entire month leading up to the Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah, the shofar (a hollowed out ram’s horn) makes its siren song. The shofar is blown that we might hear and heed it. What is the message of these daily blasts that usher in the Jewish High Holy Days? Typical of Jewish tradition, there are many interpretations of ...

 

Applied Belief: A God under a divided nation

We all know the phrase “one nation under God.” Who knew this would become such a controversial phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, which so many children have learned and recited since the 1950s? Today this phrase continues to be challenged in courts of public opinion. I believe in the vision laid out by the pledge but it currently does not reflect the America we ...