All Gender Bathroom

My friends, this week we will read Parashat Balak [which just happens to be my bar mitzvah parasha] which focuses on the inspired speeches of the Aramean prophet Bilaam. This exceptional charismatic character intended to curse Israel, but was seized with the divine spirit and blessed them instead. Words that were intended to harm, surprisingly became instruments of love… Read more »

Families Belong Together

Dear Friends, America’s moral crisis over immigration continues to unfold. Whatever wise and fair immigration policy you favor, I know we can all agree that mass child abuse, executed by the federal government, is a historic disgrace. Families belong together. The UN Convention on the Rights of Children affirms the central importance of family integrity: “The… Read more »

Tefillah Tuesday: Both Your Hearts

And you shall love the Lord your God with both your hearts … The Hebrew word heart is usually לב/lev, a simple two-letter combination. But – as in the first verse of the ואהבת/ ve’ahavta – this word can also appear in a slightly different form, with a doubled letter bet. Our profession of faith does not read בכל לבך/bekhol libbekha, love God “with… Read more »

URGENT: Donations Needed for Immigrant Children Being Held in NYC

Collection Bin in AC Lobby Through Next Week City Council member Mark Levine, who represents sections of the Upper West Side and neighborhoods to the North, is accepting donations of items for the 239 children who were separated from the parents and taken to New York. We are collecting: CLEAN Children’s clothing Diapers Toys  The children are… Read more »

Tefillah Tuesday: Nobody is Perfick, Part Two

Continuing the theme of the previous Tefillah Tuesday post: shibbush [“error”] happens. There will always mistakes, shortcomings, distraction, and extraneous thoughts in davening. Nobody is perfick. Today, we’ll turn to Chazal, the Talmudic-era sages, for a reflection on that age-old problem of davening while not knowing Hebrew very well. While scholars through the ages – as well… Read more »