"...Wherever one lands in deciding whether this is the right book for their family, what I find most interesting is that this book highlights the balance of universalism and particularism in the Jewish community. It ultimately concludes that there is something particular about Judaism (Hanukkah) that should be celebrated, and yet that kids should share a connection to something a bit more universal, at least in America (Christmas). Some will agree, others will disagree. And that's okay...."
"...We can always explain, rationalize or justify our behavior – both to others, and to ourselves – but ultimately, what we do proclaims itself. We begin to realize that the choices we make today will become our legacy tomorrow...."
Bill Tucker, filling in for Steve Malzberg, speaks with C. Edmund Wright and Brad Hirschfield in a discussion of the news of the day which includes leaked emails, the candidates and their health issues, news coverage thereof, and others.
From Newsmax’s America Talks Live
"...Dear God, there are days when I struggle to see Your majesty in the sky. Lord our God, grant me the strength to carry forward. Engrave these beloved names on my heart. Give me the fortitude to transform these tears of pain and longing into a lasting and noble good that might bring healing to our broken and fractured world. Fashion in my heart a vision of Your hand weaving a tapestry of hope in Your heavens.
"...So much is at stake. If one could prove that Torah literally came from the Divine to a person named Moses, who transmitted it to other leaders and on to the rest of the Israelites, I might not remain a Reform Jew. If one could prove that Torah was never transmitted by God to the Israelites at all, my interlocutors might not remain Orthodox Jews. But I have yet to wield such compelling evidence – and neither have my colleagues...."
"Rebecca W. Sirbu wants to help you find a better rabbi. And she wants to help rabbis of all stripes find gigs — whether at a congregation or somewhere else. Her answer: RabbiCareers.com. “Need someone with strong analytic skills, the ability to work well with a variety of people, and knows how to speak passionately for a cause?,” RabbiCareers asks potential employers on its website.
"...Nothing has been more meaningful in my journey toward the High Holidays than reading Ginny Kubitz Moyer’s latest book from Loyola Press, Taste & See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with our Five Senses. This book — listed in the Ignatian Spirituality section of a Jesuit publishing house — is a source of inspiration in my search to elevate everyday experiences and imbue them with holiness. This book's author–a high school English teacher in California–is my spiritual guide...."
"...Without offering a word, he responded by pulling out his worn wallet, which contained neat stacks of bills in various denominations. On each of them, he or someone else, had scribbled what appeared to be questions in red marker; inquiries like, ‘How are humans like chickens?’ or ‘How do you recognize honesty in the dark?’..."
"I went shopping for a new tallit (prayer shawl) at two competing Boston Judaica shops last week. In both stores I found the tallitot, the plural for tallis, separated by gender. And obviously so. The experience reminded me of when I was first pregnant with my daughter and first learned she would be a she. As I perused the baby clothing aisle at Target, I realized half the items on display were definitively not for my kid. The gender messaging wasn't subtle.
Originally published in 2011, we bring this piece to you today in memory of those lost on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
"I live in New York City. Two friends, including someone at whose wedding I had recently been the rabbi, died in the World Trade Center. The acrid smell came through my apartment windows for days and sacred ashes, which I wiped away with tears, fell on my window sills for weeks.