Tefillah Tuesday: בכל נפשך

Contemporary American Jews reject martyrdom. If you asked me to imagine a martyr I would probably think of a shahid, a Hamas suicide bomber, or a tortured Christian saint, whose eager pursuit of suffering seems creepy and masochistic. Judaism is a life-affirming religion and mistrusts any impulse to venerate death. We hold that “these are the mitzvot… 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 »

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 »