My grandparents, both Holocaust survivors, often said that having children and grandchildren was the greatest revenge against Hitler, and hearing their stories taught me just how precious it was for me to be alive.
My mixed impressions about Rosh Chodesh Adar will still take some time to settle, but I feel enriched and empowered knowing that each small step is meaningful in the ongoing struggle for all Jews to feel welcome and respected at that holy space.
As I listen with horror to everything that's happening to Jewish community centers and day schools in North America, I'm reminded of the questions North American Jews ask when they hear about Reform synagogues being vandalized in Israel: Are you OK?
You might not know it, but if you stay at a hotel while visiting Israel, about 10% of your bill goes to certify that the food and facilities are kosher in the eyes of the state-sponsored, ultra-Orthodox Rabbinate.
The Eternal One spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: "This is the ritual law that the Eternal has commanded: Instruct the Israelite people to bring you a red cow without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which no yoke has been laid." - Numbers 19:1-2
Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. - Numbers 22:2