How many more tragedies until we realize how irretrievably and inextricably connected we are to one another? What notions of mutual obligation and responsibility do we feel for one another?
A Jewish contemplative practice is, essentially, about serving God through consciousness and action. Too often, emphasizing the behaviors of Jewish practice — such as Shabbat and Holy Day observance, kashrut, or even tikkun olam, which become markers of Jewish identity — obscures the goals of transformation of consciousness and action. But a contemplative practice that
Lately, in Jewish communal circles, I have heard a lot of talk about fostering networks. This talk has focused mostly on networks among organizations and the individuals who lead them, rather than on small groups of people who interact on a regular basis. In my research on Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, I’ve found that both
This past year, I served as a chaplain at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee, a prison for women. I knew it would be an unfamiliar and challenging place, and I wondered how humanity could be found there. I likened my questions to the awareness that dawned upon Jacob in Genesis 28:16: “And Jacob awakened from his
A century ago, the French scholar Emile Durkheim explored the power of rituals in creating social ties while at the same time voicing his fear that a “new” social and economic order was destroying the old solidarities. Durkheim was a Jew who rejected his Judaism, and yet he could not escape from religion in his
For four years now, I’ve received an email on erev Rosh Hashanah from 10Q: Reflect. React. Renew. This is a national project sponsored by Reboot that asks individuals to respond to one question per day during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In addition to the questions, the email included my reflections from the
Empathy plays a critical interpersonal and societal role, enabling the sharing of experiences, needs, and desires between individuals and providing a bridge between the emotions of one person and another. It also promotes pro-social behavior. This capacity, that requires the exquisite interplay of neural networks, enables us to perceive the emotions of others, to resonate
A woman in my youth declared during our breakup, “I’ll never again date a man with an artistic temperament!” At that young age, I was a slightly built, short haired, not-so-nice Jewish boy who had an affinity for wearing khakis, short-sleeved collared shirts and Converse sneakers. Artist was as far from what I thought of