Grounded in an ancient theodicy, Ki Tavo (Deutoronomy 26:1-29:8), the Torah portion for September 17th, is an emotional rollercoaster. In it, the Israelites find their lot in life directly linked to their own behavior. Follow the commandments to gain blessing;… Read More ›
The Tanakh, Jewish scriptures, predominately call the deity king and lord and use the masculine pronoun. These images evoke a certain level of power. Just how powerful the deity is in then multiplied when “he” is addressed as “G-d of… Read More ›
Our visit to Poland coincides with the Feast of the Assumption, a time when tens of thousands of pilgrims arrive on foot to pay homage to Our Lady of Częstochowa, Poland’s Black Madonna. I too am a pilgrim, visiting the sites, not of miracles but of martyrdom. As I make my way through what Pope John Paul II called “this Golgotha of modern times,” I am overcome; like him, I “am here kneeling down” to implore Our Lady to help us heal the vast, still open wound that is our life on this earth.
Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11) gives us pause for thought in its contradictions. First, the parshah (Torah portion) contains the aseret hadibrot (Ten Commandments), among which is: you shouldn’t murder (5:17). Then, pasukim (verses) 6:4-5 contain the shema (Hear O Israel! The… Read More ›
The Torah parshah for this week (to be read on 15 September) is Vayelech (Devarim/Deut. 31:1 – 30). September 15th is also Shabbat Shuvah (return), the Shabbat that falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is the time of… Read More ›
In the ancient world, snakes represented fertility, creativity, rebirth, wisdom and, even, death. They were often closely connected to female goddesses, priestesses and powerful human females who were the embodiment of such powers. For example, there is the Minoan goddess/priestess… Read More ›
I love going to outdoor movie screenings. Sitting outdoors on a summer evening with good company brings me joy. Last week, I went to an screening of Moana, the Disney movie about a teenager who goes on a quest through… Read More ›
Out of all of these things, the one thing that has kept coming to my mind is G-d. What is he (or she) thinking? I feel like I’m back in one of my Old Testament classes discussing the harsh and cruel G-d that thrust so many horrible things onto their believers. Maybe, the worst part about the election isn’t Donald Trump, but it is the realization that G-d may be dead after all.
How will the world end? No, it isn’t Lucifer himself coming from hell to bring in the end times, it is someone far worse, and his name is Donald Trump.
This blog is dedicated to Elie Wiesel, September 30, 1928-July 2, 2016 During the summer following my second year [as a graduate student] at Yale, I read Elie Wiesel’s The Gates of the Forest, which someone had recommended as a… Read More ›
Remember the loss, because we’re going to need it for the tomorrows to come and for those that need our protection the most: the next generation. Remember, we are Orlando; now, tomorrow, and always.
Of the many letters Caroline wrote to her lifelong friend Luise, one of the most intense (the 57th Letter) dates from seven years after the 4th Letter discussed in my last post. By then both were married; only a few… Read More ›
Let my people go! Where is the humanity? Why are my sisters and brothers continuously subjected to persecution? Who will help and stop this madness? I am a member of the human race. Collectively I identify with those who need… Read More ›
I was trying not to fidget as I sat on the hard, unforgiving walnut pew. It was a gorgeous summer day out, and I was locked inside breathing stale air and with nothing to look at but the dreary speaker,… Read More ›