Yes, Still Zionist: Thoughts for Yom Ha’Atzmaut, 2024

I love visiting cemeteries. I know, it seems morbid.  But I find it life-affirming to stand before matzevot – monuments inscribed with people’s names, when they lived, messages from loved ones. Monuments tell interlocking stories of lives and loves: she was named for her grandmother; he fought in World War II; that couple lost one… Read more »

Yom HaShoah, 2024

Years ago, seeking ritual ways of marking Yom HaShoah, I tried a few tricks, none of which worked.  I tried fasting (even though you’re not supposed to fast during Nisan). But that didn’t work, because I was the only one doing it. Fasting only works communally. And besides, did I think skipping lunch would help… Read more »

Pesach in Egypt and Through the Generations — Shabbat HaGadol, 5784

מה נשתנתה השנה הזאת מכל השנים? / Mah nishtanta ha’shana ha’zot mikol hashanim?  How is this year different from all other years?  This question rings resonantly, in 5784, a year unlike any other.  To portray the uniqueness of Pesach this year, I want to use a rabbinic concept, going back to the Mishnah, about the… Read more »

Observations from Israel and America

These weeks since October 7 have been unrelentingly awful. Grief. Panic. Heartbreak for the hostages. Revulsion at Hamas’ cruelty. Horror at the suffering of Gazans. Despair for the future. Not to mention Jew-hatred in America, especially on campus. And the great difficulty of talking about all this among friends and family, whose differing views can… Read more »