Certain Torah portions stand out as a timeless call for our people. Acharei Mot falls into this category of essential themes on which to reflect. After the death of his sons Nadav and Avihu, Aaron struggles deeply, striving to cope. He initially does so in silence, steadfastly present but unable to find the words to speak. Over time, we get to know Aaron and gain an appreciation for his cautious use of words. Sometimes it seems there really is nothing appropriate to say. In these instances, we too...Read More
A prayer on behalf of the people of Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday coordinated attack on three churches and three five-star hotels that killed and injured hundreds.
How can it be, That day of prayer, A day of reverence and love, A day of worship and communion, At the hand of killers, Can become a day of blood?
How can it be, That a day heralding the message Of peace on earth And forgiveness for all, At the hand of murderers, Can become a day of wailing in the streets?
Author of life, Man has turned vicious and cruel, Cutting down innocents in Sri Lanka With...Read More
One afternoon last January, I took a walk alone so that I could spend time with the elephants. I was in midst of my week-long volunteer adventure at Elephant Nature Park, a nature reserve outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand, that spans more than 300 acres and houses rescued Asian elephants.
Asian elephants are frequently used in the tourist industry, illegal logging, and in street begging. In order to get them to safely interact with humans, elephants are snatched from their mothers in infancy and subjected to an unnatural and abusive...Read More
When we gather on April 19 and 20 to mark the first two nights of Passover, we will pray. And we will ask aloud: What makes this year’s seders different from all others?
These two nights will mark the first seders since two African-American individuals were killed at a grocery store parking lot simply because of their race; their murderer wanted to shoot up a church.
What makes these seders different from last year’s?
These two seders will be the first since 11 people were killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue simply because they were Jewish.
What makes this year...Read More
The word Shoah is Hebrew for “catastrophe” or “utter destruction." It is fitting, then, that Holocaust Remembrance Day* is known as Yom HaShoah, a day first commemorated in 1949 and officially made Israeli state policy by 1951. It is observed annually on the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, the anniversary of the start of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – which means that this year, we’ll observe it from May 1-2. Commemorations begin at sundown.
In Israel, a state ceremony is held in Warsaw Ghetto Square at...Read More