Tag Archives: society

The World Was Created for You — Parashat Ha-Azinu 5783

The 19th century hasidic master Reb Simcha Bunim of Peshischa famously taught that a person should always carry a note in each of their pockets. On one should be written the biblical verse, “anokhi afar va-efer / I am dust … Continue reading

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Are You a Hero? — Yom Kippur 5783

By now, you’ve heard quite a bit about my sabbatical; perhaps more than you wanted to know. Apologies if that’s the case.  On Rosh Hashanah, I talked about how I tried to embrace the spirit of Shabbat by refraining from … Continue reading

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Why Are You Here? — Rosh Hashanah 5783

As a people that is well over three thousand years old, Jews have collectively lived through many eras of upheaval. We have endured revolutions and conquests; crusades, inquisitions and expulsions; the rise and fall of empires; civil wars and world … Continue reading

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Message to the Class of 2022

Delivered at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Baccalaureate Ceremony, June 16, 2022 Let me begin by expressing my gratitude for having been invited here this evening. It is such an honor to be with you to celebrate this milestone with … 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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When the Devil Comes for You: Parashat Tazria 5782

Sometimes, live television affords us moments that could never have been predicted in advance and yet, as you watch them happen, you know you are witnessing something that everyone is going to be talking about for years to come.  Last … 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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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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