Tag Archives: Judaism

Shabbat for Shabbat’s Sake: Parashat Sh’lakh Lekha 5782

I didn’t grow up in a sabbath-observant home. The first time I encountered traditional Shabbat observance was during my first summer at Camp Ramah in New England, when I was about 11 years old. And if I’m being totally honest, … Continue reading

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Embrace the Wilderness: Parashat Beha’alotekha 5782

One of the central tensions of the Book of Numbers is perfectly expressed by the two very different names by which it is known. In English, of course, we call it Numbers, a name derived from the book’s opening narrative … Continue reading

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Punk’s Not Dead, It’s Jewish: Shavuot 5782

I couldn’t be more excited for the new FX/Hulu miniseries Pistol, which promises to tell the true story of one of my favorite bands, The Sex Pistols. I first discovered The Pistols as a teen, when my natural disposition toward … Continue reading

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‘Earn This’: Last Day of Passover 5782

Over the course of the past year or so, I’ve committed to filling in what I call my “pop culture blindspots,” making a point to watch movies with a significant cultural footprint that I, for various reasons, haven’t seen.  One … Continue reading

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Judaism for the Wise and Wicked: Passover 5782

Questions are perhaps the defining feature of the Seder. The ceremony, with its unusual rites and symbols, appears to have been specifically designed to arouse questions, particularly from children.  To all these questions, let me add one that I want … Continue reading

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Having a Heart: Parashat Teztaveh 5782

As far as I can tell, it was contemporary author Elizabeth Stone who first said that having a child is to forever “have your heart go walking around outside your body.” It’s since become something of a cliche, a quote … Continue reading

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What Oneness Demands of Us

The following remarks were delivered at Trinity Episcopal School in Richmond, Virginia on Monday, January 31, 2022. Good morning, Trinity. It’s such an honor to be with you today, and I’m deeply grateful for the invitation and opportunity to speak … Continue reading

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Up Close and Far Away: Parashat Bo 5782

Whenever I talk to or run into someone I haven’t spoken to or seen in a while, and they say something like, “I love seeing pictures of your family on social media; your kids always look so happy and well-behaved. … Continue reading

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And Out Come the Wolves: Parashat Va-Yehi 5782

**Trigger warning: sexual assault and violence** It’s altogether fitting that we read Parashat Va-Yehi, the last portion in the Book of Genesis, this Shabbat, as we approach the end of the secular year. Endings are always meaningful opportunities to reflect … Continue reading

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Time to Live: Parashat Va-Yeshev 5782

In the grand scheme of things, our lives are extremely short. On average, most of us will only live to 75 or 80. If we’re lucky, maybe we will live 120 joyful years. Perhaps modern medicine will help us to … Continue reading

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