Unless You Know: A Poem for Yom HaShoah
Unless you know
what it is to look
at black & white proof
at lambs led to slaughter
at herds of the lost
Galilee Diary: Fade to Black
The Lord, the Lord is gracious and compassionate, patient, and abounding in kindness and faithfulness, assuring love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and granting pardon. -Exodus 34:6-7
What We Can Learn from Holocaust Survivors About the Human Spirit
Following World War II, many Jews were confined to displaced persons (DPs) camps in Allied-occupied countries. Among them were my parents and parents-in-law.
Not the Usual Barnes and Noble Minhag
Like so many of the things we've done in the last few months, the annual Yom Kippur afternoon jaunt of my father and me to Barnes and Noble following the morning service at temple was more
What an Atheist Belgian Musician Taught Me about Judaism
As a teenager, I would sit on my bedroom floor listening to old records of Belgian singer-songwriter, poet, and performer Jacques Brel. I didn’t need to keep a journal, because his lyrics wove together everything I felt at the time. Brel had a fire within, and his anger, longing, passion, and truth blazed through every word he sang. His music, raw and real, transformed and fed my soul; it informed and shaped who I am today.
What I'll Never Forget about My Visit to Majdanek
I recently visited Majdanek, a concentration camp in Poland, with my classmates. Afterward, I wrote this piece - part poem and part essay - about what spoke to me there.
Technology Gives Us a New Way to Observe Yom HaShoah This Year
You Are What You Wear
He shall be dressed in a sacral linen tunic, with linen breeches next to his flesh, and be girt with a linen sash, and he shall wear a linen turban. They are sacral vestments; he shall bathe his body in water and then put them on. (Leviticus 16:4)
A few years ago, I was in Jerusalem in a Chasidic neighborhood, surrounded by stores carrying tallitot, kippot, and all sorts of Judaica. To my utter shock, prominently displayed in one store's window was a bright pink tallis! I went inside and started talking to the owner, a Chasid in full regalia: black coat, knickers, side curls, and fur-trimmed shtreimel hat. "Who would buy a pink tallit?" I asked. "A bat mitzvah girl of course," this Chasid said, with no hesitation. ". . . no, not the girls in my community," he added, "but in yours, sure, why not?"