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...]

Dear Pop…

Dear PopYour granddaughter has been nagging me to write about what you taught me, how you directed my growth as a Jew. It has been hard for me to put this into words. But this morning when I could not sleep it came to me. To say that Judaism was a vehicle for social action is too easy. For to you, social action was a vehicle for Jewing. I know that term is unexpected to you. When you walked this earth it was only used in the pejorative. But a teacher of mine since your passing has … [Read more...]

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Insincerely Sorry

A pile of dirt sits aside a broom, spilled cheerios are glued all over the floor and drying laundry is succumbing to wrinkles on the dining room table when the doorbell rings.You have just scanned the war-zone that is your home and made the smart decision that you'll take a much-needed rest before you turn into a cleaning cyclone. The morning was hectic and it's as if every one of your tasks exploded in mess. But for now, the disaster will have to wait. Oh, but so will the nap. Remember? The … [Read more...]

My Five Cents

Seattle’s trendy university district is brimming with progressive, liberal and uniquely self-expressed youth. Its deliberate displays of activism are on every vegan restaurant, every store’s “End the War” sign, and every tattoo. On University Ave, you’re lost if you’re not proclaiming your rejection of popular culture with force and pride. Though I’m a native Seattleite, I glide through the shops with the eyes of a tourist. I may be wearing the trendy and oh-so-humanitarian Tom shoes that … [Read more...]

Always stop to pee – and other lessons from my dad

While I wrote a nice sentimental tribute for my mom for mother's day (here if you missed it) - that just wouldn't be right for my dad, our father-daughter dance was to "Beep-Beep" after all (pictured).  My dad's lessons are very practical, though they still have a Jewish component.Always stop to peeWe took a lot of road trips when  I was a kid, my dad is a big fan of traveling by car and seeing nature pass outside your windows.  This lead us on a lot of back-roads and you never knew when the … [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 j … [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 are parts of … [Read more...]


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