How do you approach a future of Judaism?

The future of Judaism is the future we see now: the trends that have already changed the Jewish landscape and will continue to do so for a long, long time. The Downfall of Denominations Denominations are becoming more and more meaningless as our culture moves further into radical individualization. Does anyone in the Reform movement really care about "reforming" anything, or conservatives plan on "conserving" Jewish tradition? Hardly. Most people involve themselves, in a Jewish sense, with … [Read more...]

Is this the future Israeli Jewish women are doomed to live?

For a long time Women of the Wall has been a flash point in Israel and it has finally bubbled up and almost over. Anat Hoffman, leader of the group Women of the Wall, was just arrested for carrying a Torah near the Kotel, the Western Wall. These women have been beaten for having strap marks on their arm from Tefillin. Not even people witnessing them wearing it, just the leftover marks. They have been abused verbally, physically, and by the police for minding their own business on their own … [Read more...]

Would a stone by any other name, mean the same thing?

I was struck (no, not literally) by an image I recently came across on Flickr. It was of Palestinian men collecting rocks... well these were rocks on steroids, huge chunks of concrete, to hurl at Israeli soldiers and settlers who might wander down their streets. It occurred to me when I saw this picture that we use rocks for very different purposes. These Palestinians use rocks to hurt and maim. Even in the broader Islamic culture, rocks are used to inflict pain and death. This punishment is … [Read more...]

My Tatti Taught Me A Little Shuckel…

Okay, I admit it... I don't have the best memory in the world but there are a few things from my childhood that stick out clearly. I have mentioned some of them before, here in this blog, but with Father's Day rapidly approaching, I have asked my team to write about their father's and how they shaped their Jewish life. And so, I thought I would talk about the memories from my childhood of my dad. The men in my life have always figured prominently. Not sure why. Maybe because I was the first … [Read more...]

Teaching the value of Tikkun Olam – Thanks Dad!

I remember as a kid joining my father as we delivered Passover food packages to the elderly Jews on the lower east side of Manhattan. The program was through project Ezra which, incidentally, was formed before I was born yet it still was very exciting to be a part of. The apartments that we visited were a far cry from the posh lofts that inhabit much of today’s Lower East side but the looks on the faces of the elderly Jews that we delivered packages to was payment enough for our … [Read more...]

Lessons of the Father’s

Fathers across North America today are celebrating Father’s Day, a day on which fathers are celebrated for the impact they make on their children’s life. I never celebrated one Father’s Day with my dad. Heck, we never really celebrated much of anything during his short life. He has been gone 15 years, and it’s on days like today that I get to wondering what it would have been like to really experience what having a father was all about. He really was a typical “bon-vivant” and there … [Read more...]

Gimmel Tammuz – Lubavitcher Lore & Holy Days

Today marks an auspicious day on the Chabad Lubavitcher's calendar. Today is Gimmel Tammuz (the third day of the month of Tammuz). On this day in 5754 or 1994 in Gregorian years, the Lubavitcher Rebbe passed away. This dealt a hard blow to the community. He and his wife were childless and he did not appoint a successor. This divided the community, some believing that he was the Moshiach (messiah) and some not believing in that. It is a topic that still divides Crown Heights today. A newly … [Read more...]

How do you find the words when they are spit back in your face?

I am emotionally exhausted. Since the boats with "peace activists" heading to Gaza was intercepted I have fought and fought this issue round and round with my friends and acquaintances. Emotionally, I am drained. My head hurts. I can't think of the permutations any more. I want to just say that this is how it is, no more conversation. But nothing is ever so simple or easy. Here are some basic facts of the issue. I promise you, honestly, I am being as unbiased as possible here. The flotilla … [Read more...]

Lacking Something…

I have been a very, very bad portal manager these past few weeks. It has been incredibly hard for me to focus on our Jewish Portal Blog and for that I apologize. And on that note, I am looking for bloggers. If you are interested in contributing to the Jewish Portal here at Patheos, drop me a line at JewishPortal@patheos.com Beyond being busy with Patheos work and my personal thesis for my Masters, there have been a couple other things going on. This year the Omer was particularly poignant. The … [Read more...]

National Day of (Christian only) Prayer?

So I there has been a lot of conversation about the National Day of Prayer and all that hoopla. Officially, today is the "National Day of Prayer." Initially, sounds cool, right? It's like National Badge Day where all the Panhellenic Sororities get to show off their membership to the world... Actually, maybe it is more like badge day than I initially thought. The National Day of Prayer, it turns out is pretty exclusive. Now on one hand I was a proponent because I felt it was cool, get everyone … [Read more...]


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