Wednesday Nov 14, 2012
A few years back, one of my teachers recommended that I volunteer at a local homeless shelter to satisfy the mandatory community service hours that my school required of its high school juniors. I had never been to a homeless shelter, and the idea of spending time at one didn’t seem appealing. In my mind, there was something taboo about shelters and soup kitchens; I viewed them as foreign and distant worlds, places that would force...
Tuesday Nov 06, 2012
Gilad Shalit came to my school.
He didn’t speak. He sat patiently – quietly – while being praised by an array of Jewish academics and members of my school’s faculty. He looked nervous and scared, as though he would rather have been anywhere but there, at America’s most Zionistic university, warmly embraced by students who had joined the rallies calling for his release.
I chose not to stay for...
Monday Sep 10, 2012
Yeshiva University's Zysman Hall
“Isn’t that the home of the famous Hebrew Union College?” a South African friend once remembered of my hometown. I stared at my friend for a few moments before realizing that I had never considered that place to be something important. Despite having grown up in the same city for over a dozen years, I hadn’t given thought to the fact that one of the largest institutions for Reform...
Sunday Aug 26, 2012
Deborah the Prophetess' interpretation by Gustave Dore
Just the other day, the media was rightfully in an uproar after a Republican senatorial hopeful stupidly suggested that “legitimate” rape rarely results in a pregnancy. Within hours of this verbal blunder, nearly every conceivable politician, Republican or Democrat, denounced the candidate for his insensitivity, while many, including the Republican presidential nominee...
Monday Aug 06, 2012
Battle between Israelites and Amalekites
A few weeks back, we saw in Parshat Mattot, the second to last reading in the book of Numbers, that the Bible records Moses castigating the Jewish people for sparing the lives of Middianite women who had allegedly slept with Jewish men. Like many younger Jews living in the 21st century, I found myself a bit uncomfortable reading these passages, despite the various reconciliatory...