This week we mark the 50th anniversary (on the Hebrew calendar) of the 1967 Six-Day War, certainly the most momentous passage in Israel’s history. Israel’s territory was multiplied almost three-fold, acquiring Sinai (of course later returned to Egypt), Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. These latter two were annexed under Israeli… Read more »

Multiple Freedoms

Passover is חג החרות, the Holiday of Freedom, the grand tale of ancient Jewish suffering followed by divine and prophetic liberation. I am sure that many of our Sedarim, over the years, have also addressed modern enslavement and liberation, including readings or documents from the ultimate Jewish catastrophe [שואה], as well as the American Egypt… Read more »

Choose Life: Yom Kippur Sermon, 2016

CHOOSE LIFE Kol Nidre, 5777 EROS This year, several articles in the Jewish press, from Haaretz to the Forward encouraged Jews to avoid synagogues on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. These allegedly “awesome days” are too solemn, stiff, even morose. Confessing sins is a major downer! Jews should come instead for the joy of Sukkot,… Read more »

The God of Faith in You

ROSH HaSHANAH, 5777   I stand before you, forced to select one of two unappealing options. Given the immense range of possibilities, given all the talent and wisdom and charisma out there, how is it possible that our system could not produce more exciting choices? And yet in the end, it is a binary decision.… Read more »

Hearing God’s Voice on Shavuot

Perched at the edge of Shavuot, Jewish thoughts turn to the meaning of ma’amad Har Sinai, the singular event of revelation, as described in Exodus 19. For all its grand drama, the mystical absorption, the thrilling pyrotechnics … is there anything here contemporary heterodox Jews can believe about revelation?