Controversial Observations, Why Orthodox Jews do What they Do August 11, 2016

Why I AM Fasting This Tisha B’av

Elyse Goldstein, in her recent piece, “Why I’m Not Fasting on Tisha B’Av,” makes a number of thoughtful points regarding the upcoming national day of Jewish mourning.  I commend her for her principled and intentional living and would like to respond with my own take on some of her themes. She says:

I’m not fasting because the oldest symbol of that so-called “unity” — the Western Wall — is a battleground for religious pluralism, and I imagine that if the kohanim were still around, they would be on the side of the Haredim, not on the side of those women who, like me, want to be full participating Jews there with tallit, tefillin, and Torah.

I’m not fasting because I’m afraid of what it would look like for women if we actually rebuilt the Temple.

The Talmud says that the reason the Temple was destroyed – one of the major occasions we mourn on this day – is baseless hatred. And that all the while we still engage in it, a new Temple cannot be rebuilt. So I feel that as long as there is infighting, at the Kotel or anywhere else, we MUST mourn, we MUST fast, we must demonstrate that it is not OK. The Temple I envision, that I have learned about, is a Temple of unity for all, where both men and women achieve spiritual fulfillment and joy in varied yet deeply engaging ways. The Temple I pray for is the one in which there are no Haredim, no secular, no men vs. women, no feminists vs. traditionalists. If this sounds utopian and messianic it’s because that’s exactly the miracle I am praying for.

Jewish Inspiration July 3, 2016

For Elie Wiesel

You were the grandparent I couldn’t have, the one who told the Story.
You were tireless in your staggering work.
You relived the horrors, so others could know.
You looked beyond your own to make sure it didn’t happen to others.
You helped me know what my own had been through.

Uncategorized June 28, 2016

Why Youngests are Lucky

Looks like been doing more parenting posts lately. Just what’s on my mind, I guess. I considered starting a new blog for parenting because the rule-follower in me is screaming that this is a blog about Orthodox Judaism.
Uncategorized June 21, 2016

The Moments Aren’t Gone

It’s an emotional time of year for parents.

Graduating preschool, middle school, high school, college. Entering new grades. Last carpools. Last time in this or that campus. Weddings. All the things we knew were coming.

Uncategorized May 11, 2016

What I Know

I recently caught up with an old friend. It had been years since we’d talked – really talked – and I was moved by her wisdom. She’s grown up, I thought. Then: so have I. 

I’ve learned a lot since high school, mostly the hard way. Here’s what I know: