Shabbat Ekev: How To Be Loyal (not to Haman but to Life)

Do you believe in cause and effect? The opening of this week’s parashat hashavua insists on precisely this: events follow in the wake of other events in a causative fashion. Let us be more precise: do you understand the effect of your acts on others, on your society, and on the world in which youContinue reading “Shabbat Ekev: How To Be Loyal (not to Haman but to Life)”

Shabbat VaYeshev: Minority Status

Hanukkah begins on Sunday December 2 at sundown. We always find it in proximity to the parashat hashavua which we study this week, VaYeshev. The word means “he returned” but we might also read it as “here we go again.” One month after the massacre of our fellow Jews joined in Shabbat prayer in Pittsburgh,Continue reading “Shabbat VaYeshev: Minority Status”

Yom Kippur 5778: Who Shall I Say Is Calling?

 In the late 1990s I had the opportunity to teach Jewish history to Jewish high school students. When we came to the part on anti-Semitism, every student in the class insisted to me they had never experienced anti-Semitism personally. I went around telling adults about it all over Portland’s Jewish community. Oh, yes, they allContinue reading “Yom Kippur 5778: Who Shall I Say Is Calling?”