Tag Archives: faith

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

Posted in Articles and Op-Eds, Public Statements, Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Reflections, Sermons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Eulogy for Helen Zimm (z”l)

Today, I had the painful honor of burying my dear friend and teacher, Helen Zimm. The experience was made even more painful by the fact that most of Helen’s family and virtually all of her community were not able to … Continue reading

Posted in Sermons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections on the COVID-19 Pandemic

I wrote the following statement along with my multi-faith partners on the Standing Together Steering Committee of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities: These are turbulent and anxious times. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended so many of our lives. We … Continue reading

Posted in Public Statements | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Articles and Op-Eds, Reflections, Sermons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Public Statements, Reflections, Sermons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment