On Sunday, September 25, people from all across the United States will gather in person and on social media in the #ConcertAcrossAmerica to call for an end to the epidemic of gun violence that has plagued our country for far too long.
At the end of the book of Bamidbar, which we just completed reading, it seemed that Moses’ career as a leader had come to an end. His successor, Joshua, had already been determined, and it would be he, not Moses, who would lead the people into the Promised Land. Still, in the midst of transition and the last month of his life, Moses assembles the people and delivers a series of addresses. This week’s parasha begins with the phrase Eleh ha-d’varim, meaning “these are the words.” As the children of Israel assemble in front of him, Moses prepares them for a new beginning. He ceases to be the liberator, the miracle worker who parted the sea, and the redeemer who was called upon to replenish a depleted well. The people gain responsibility.
Only one month after the horrific mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Florida, a different Florida shooting evoked new pain.
With the Olympics having begun last week in Brazil, we are extra-aware of the threat of Zika. Brazil, a country that is a hotspot for mosquitos, and as a result Zika virus, we are reminded of the continued need for the United States to approve funding to combat Zika.
At the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP), I am working with the 90 Million Strong Campaign, which is currently focusing its efforts in Nebraska, to prepare for a
I have always believed that here in the United States, anti-Semitism couldn’t possibly be as entrenched as in other parts of the world. In 35 years of life, I had never directly encountered anti-Semitism – until last week.
The following is a prayer expressing gratitude for what those of us blessed with privilege and freedom can offer our daughters - and so too is it a prayer of protest and concern for those of us who cannot provide these things.
Here are two prayers after an earthquake struck Italy today: one for the people and one for first responders.
Nearly 40 years ago, I stood on the bimah as a bat mitzvah, the first young woman in my family to celebrate my Jewish coming of age. Its significance was totally lost on me, however. Having been raised to believe that both boys and girls could pretty much do anything they wanted, what was the big deal, I wondered.
The Hamilton craze is sweeping the nation, and even the Jewish community isn’t exempt. Case in point: Recently, at the annual convention of the American Conference of Cantors and the Guild of Temple Musicians, several cantors led a Shacharit (morning) service that included several prayers set to tunes from the smash hit by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
And it wasn’t the only secular music to take center stage. Just two days earlier, a few colleagues and I had led a Maariv (evening) service that included “Be Here Now” by Ray LaMontagne and “Grateful” by John Bucchino.
What is it that makes secular music useful and appropriate in a service setting? Or is it?