What It Means to Be Israeli

December 24, 2015, by

You wanted a certain kind of life so you moved to another part of the world. This is the life you chose. Before you moved here, it was impossible to understand what that meant. It was impossible to understand how you would be tested. Perhaps you felt your choice was a personal choice; perhaps a

Failing to Prepare is Preparing Your Family to Fail

December 23, 2015, by

Death is a highly uncomfortable and awkward subject. As a result, most people do all they can to avoid the subject altogether. While we would prefer to see ourselves as living forever, the Torah instructs us that, in fact, reflecting on our mortality and being mindful of our transience are critical to living an inspired

New is Not Necessarily Better

December 22, 2015, by

Change is inevitable. Attitudes and social norms are constantly changing, as are career opportunities and artistic tastes. Perhaps the most perceptible arena of constant change is in the evolution of technology. Through the millennia, enormous advancements in science have revolutionized fields ranging from medicine to warfare, and innovative technological discoveries have dramatically altered normative modes

A Message from the Parents of Ezra Schwartz

December 21, 2015, by

A message from Ari and Ruth Schwartz, parents of Ezra Schwartz: We are deeply grateful for all of the love and support we have received from so many people and organizations, locally and globally.  Every thoughtful note, every consoling visit from near and far, sometimes very far, every bus full of students, every one of Ezra’s friends who

Our Favorite Photos from Chanukah 2015

December 17, 2015, by

Throughout this year’s Festival of Lights, many stories circulated the holiday’s message of service, dedication, and hope. Here are some of our favorite photographs. Lit Chanukah menorahs in the Warsaw Ghetto. 2. Turkey’s Jews celebrated Chanukah publicly for the first time in 92 years 3. Somewhere in Afghanistan, Jewish servicemen find each other 4. The Menorah

Who Was Tibor Rubin?

December 16, 2015, by

Last week, Tibor Rubin died at the age of 86. After being liberated by American soldiers from the Mauthausen concentration camp, Rubin made a promise that he would give back and joined the American army. While serving in the Korean War, his virulently anti-Semitic sergeant repeatedly gave him the most dangerous missions. In once instance,

Elisha Davidson Returns

December 16, 2015, by

Several months ago, we wrote about the new book series, Elisha Davidson and the Letters of Fire, and profiled series author Rhonda Attar. She just released the second installment: Elisha Davidson and the Ispaklaria. Below is  a summary: The strangest summer of Elisha Davidson’s life turns into a reality-shattering adventure when Elisha figures out how to

Debate Fervently, But Love Fiercely

December 15, 2015, by

Recently, the United States Holocaust Museum asked my synagogue to host an event of theirs. So this past Wednesday night, we hosted Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic for a conversation about anti-Semitism in Europe and around the world, a topic he has researched extensively and recently written about. Growing anti-Semitism is a universal concern for

Hezekiah’s Seal

December 15, 2015, by

Why Does King Hezekiah’s Seal Bear an Egyptian Winged Sun God? Hebrew University archaeologists created a stir last week announcing the discovery of a seal bearing the name of the Hezekiah son of Ahaz, the first time a seal bearing the name of a Judean king had been found in the environs of the Temple

Stop the Insanity!

December 15, 2015, by

I do quite a bit of writing but I rarely write about the parsha (my Shnayim Mikra synopses notwithstanding). Honestly, I feel there are many others who excel at finding meaningful, relevant messages in the parsha each week. Many of these people manage to uncover new insights every single year, and I am truly in awe

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