According to the Mishnah in Pesachim, even those eating from the local soup kitchen are required to give Tzedakah. That is, people who are receiving public assistance are themselves required to contribute to others in need. They need to be given enough money so that they can feed themselves and their families and also contribute … Continue reading A Giving Soul
Once upon a time there was a young woman. She knew that she was a Jew. In her soul, she was completely Jewish. She had been named in a Synagogue and she had a Bat Mitzvah along with all her other religious school friends. When she went to college she even occasionally attended services. Now, … Continue reading Esther in America
Leaving – being in between – is central to the Jewish narrative. God may be the God of Israel, but we more often remember God as “Your God, who took you out of the land of Egypt.” This is a God who gives us a history of journeys, of exiles, and of diasporas. Our stories … Continue reading The Desert Law
Many of us, particularly people of talent and ability, need to be on their guard against the Moshe Rabbenu complex. The Moshe Rabbenu complex is the belief that everything depends on your own efforts. Without you, goes the thinking of those so afflicted, everything will fall apart. It is a few more hours, a little … Continue reading The Moshe Rabbenu Complex
Both American and Israeli politics find themselves in a malaise of late. More and more, we feel trapped in situations beyond our control. These confined, narrow places further incur heavy penalties on a regular basis. Exiting from them seems equally or more terrifying as we imagine the outcomes of leaving.