Reflections on Family “Ghettos of Two”

In May, at the Hebrew Union College commencement, the novelist Michael Chabon encouraged the new Reform rabbis on a revolutionary path. They should “knock down the walls” that confine Jewish community in self-built ghettos, “eruvim of intolerance.” Not just ethnic distinctions between Jew and gentile, but the whole system of sacred boundary-drawing must go. No… Read more »

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 »

Sacred Cemetery Earth

President Trump deserves credit for beginning his recent address to Congress by affirming that America is “united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,” specifically condemning bomb threats against Jewish school and JCCs, vandalism in Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia, and the murder of an Indian immigrant in a bar in… Read more »

On Friday the Rabbi Wore a Hijab 

I wear some unusual garments as a rabbi: the leather straps of Tefillin during weekday prayer services a fringed shawl-like Tallit, often tied as a cape, as I run up and down flights of stairs on Shabbat a white Kittel and Keds on Yom Kippur dreidle leggings on Chanukkah; a fruit dress on Tu B’Shevat;… Read more »