DISCUSSING WHAT MATTERS

  Last Shabbat we read a parasha of death. Both Sarah and Abraham pass from the world in their ripe old ages, 127 and 175 respectively. And despite all the havoc Abraham wreaked upon his sons, Ishmael and Isaac, at last they join together to bury him lovingly in the cave at Machpela.   All… Read more »

The American Jewish Community and Black Lives Matter

But Baldwin’s rage reminds us that the black and Jewish experiences of America have been very different: largely a liberation for one community, and largely enslavement for another. How much tension for black Jews, who experience both simultaneously! To help heal America’s ever festering wounds, we have to come to understand that experience.

On Orlando

Like all decent people, I feel sick from this dreadful weak in Florida.

The Kotzker Rebbe

This week we marked the 157th yahrzeit of one of the most fascinating and forbidding figures in Jewish tradition, R. Menachem Mendel Morgenstern, the Kotzker rebbe [1787-1859]. He is best known in our circles of American Jews through Abraham Joshua Heschel’s writings, especially Passion for Truth, Heschel’s final book, comparing Kotzk with the Danish Christian existentialist Soren Kierkegaard.

Parshat Yitro

The natural focus of Parshat Yitro is always maamad Har Sinai, the “assembly of Israel at Mt. Sinai,” when Israel received the Torah. Yet the first chapter we will read this week, Exodus 18, which gives the parasha its name, concerns instead what Moses learned from the priest of another religion.