My 8-year old son’s favorite book is Richard Michelson’s As Good As Anybody. The first half follows Martin Luther King Jr. from his childhood in Georgia, listening to his father’s sermons at Ebenezer Baptist Church, on through the bus boycott and the march at Selma. When he calls on all of God’s children to join
As I read Rabbi Andy Vogel’s words, I immediately recall the story of Rabbi Yissachar Dov of Radoshitz. He traveled to see his rebbe, Reb Yaakov Yitzchak, the Chozeh of Lublin. When Rabbi Yissachar challenged his rebbe, “Show me one simple way all of us may serve God,” the Chozeh replied: “One way? Are we
The founding ethos of modern Israel was beyond doubt a collective one. Israeli poet Amir Gilboa captured this sentiment in one of his famous poems: “Suddenly a man wakes up in the morning and feels he is a people and begins to walk…” The creation of the state united the individual and the collective. The
Bible translation has been a significant feature of Judaism since the Enlightenment. This might seem surprising, since Bible translation is often seen as slavish devotion to tradition while creativity and liberation from tradition are understood to be the hallmarks of enlightened modernity. But rather than involving unquestioning self-effacement, Bible translation puts the reader at the
Many of us think that federally funded government programs should be responsible for increased funding for education, a more generous welfare system, health care for all, and foreign aid for poor countries. But another form of providing for the needy emerges when the government gets out of the way and lets private organizations emerge, funded
Does our sense of ethics come from within — as the voice of conscience — or is it a social convention and contract? What might be the impact of our government withdrawing its social welfare reach and making room for individual choices? Could private schools funded by scholarships do a better job than the public school
The existential question that drives American Jews today is not about social acceptance or material success. It is about whether we can find a sense of purpose in a society that has become so radically individualistic.
When Gavin’s grandparents came to pick him up from preschool at the Goddard School in Reading, Mass., on the day of the Boston Marathon bombing, they told his teachers that they feared something was wrong with Gavin’s dad, Marc Fucarile. They could not reach him via phone, and they did not know where he was.
Empathy is unforgiving and exhausting. But to render a human being invisible is to erase the image of God from the world.