Category Archives: Reflections

The Heart Repair of Hanukkah: Blessing Each Other’s Light

Compared to many other Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is relatively simple. Sure, there are many lovely customs — latkes, dreidels, sufganiyot, gelt, and the like — but the essential practice of the festival is lighting the menorah each night. And, just … Continue reading

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A Non-Partisan Jewish Voting Guide

1. Anti-Semitism, racism, hate, and bigotry. Does the candidate stand up against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of bigotry? Did s/he condemn the neo-Nazis and other white nationalists who marched with guns and torches in Charlottesville in 2017? Does s/he … Continue reading

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The World is Yours, But it Doesn’t Belong to You

On June 14, 2018, I was honored to speak to the graduating class of Maggie Walker Governor’s School at their Baccalaureate ceremony. Here’s what I said: Class of 2018, Let me begin by expressing my gratitude for having been invited … Continue reading

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A Powerful Conversation at Governor Northam’s Interfaith Passover Seder

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with Gov. Ralph Northam and a small, interfaith group of religious leaders for a Passover seder at the Executive Mansion in Richmond. Passover is the Jewish holiday commemorating the biblical … Continue reading

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30 Days of Liberation 2018

The Talmud teaches that, during the 30 days before Passover, we should learn about matters related to the holiday. In that spirit, I composed a brief message for each of the previous 30 days, drawing from the wisdom Passover imparts. … Continue reading

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Purim and the Responsibilities of Privilege

When Queen Esther contemplated whether to approach the King of Persia, uninvited, to ask that the Jews be spared, the stakes were high. Stay silent, and her people would be slaughtered. Speak up, and risk death herself at the hands … Continue reading

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Virginia House of Delegates Invocation, February 23, 2018

Mekor ha-hayyim, somkeh noflim, matir asurim— Champion of the downtrodden, we ask that, today and every day, You show our leaders how to walk Your paths: Enable them to see Your image in all people, eradicating all forms of bigotry … Continue reading

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