Category Archives: Reflections

Leaning Into Love: A Jewish Message for Lent/Easter 2020

I was honored to be invited to offer remarks at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Richmond, VA) during the Lenten season. Unfortunately, those plans were…altered…by the pandemic. But my message has been posted on YouTube. You can check it out here:

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Wearing a face mask? You’re doing a mitzvah. Make a brachah!

Among the Jewish tradition’s most cherished values is the sanctity of human life. With a few notable exceptions, one must not endanger their life in order to fulfill a religious obligation. And one must violate even the most significant commandments … Continue reading

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What God Needs Now: A Brief Pandemic Passover Reflection

“Once, Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai was traveling out of Jerusalem. Rabbi Yehoshua was walking behind him and saw the Temple in ruins. He said, ‘Alas for us, for this place which lies in ruins was where the people Israel atoned … Continue reading

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A Pandemic Blessing and Prayer

Ever since Lilah, our oldest child, was born, Adira and I have sung a prayer called “B’shem Hashem (The Angel Song)” to our children each night at bedtime, using a melody from Rabbi Solomon Carlebach. It’s a lovely ritual, but … Continue reading

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Coronavirus is our Amalek. The Torah’s lesson is clear: Protect the vulnerable.

As Jewish communities gather to celebrate the Purim holiday under the shadow of a global pandemic, it is worth heeding a piece of wisdom embedded in one of the scriptures most closely associated with the holiday. On the Sabbath before … Continue reading

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Justice, Truth, and Peace: How to Keep Our Republic

The following was a keynote address at the Religious Freedom Day celebration at Richmond, Virginia’s “First Freedom Center,” January 16, 2020. Good morning. It is an honor to be with you today for this celebration of our most cherished freedoms.  I … Continue reading

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Celebrating Jewish Culture in Troubled Times

Keynote address at University of Mary Washington’s Jewish Cultural Celebration (November 6, 2019) Good evening. It is such an honor and a joy to be with you this evening for this celebration of Jewish Culture. It is especially meaningful to … Continue reading

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