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 »

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 »

The Third Temple — Kol Nidre, 5784

The Jewish people are good at remembering important dates. We left Egypt on the 15th of Nissan. Moses smashed the Ten Commandments on the 17th of Tammuz. The Babylonians destroyed the Temple on the 9th of Av.  Fifty years ago today – Yom Kippur, 1973 – was one of the worst days in our long… Read more »