The Sages went so far as to say that the Torah commands us in only one place to love our neighbor, but thirty-six times to love the stranger. Why is this so important?! Isn’t it more important to love those closest to you? Why so much emphasis on the stranger? I think the answer is…

Read More

Next week, we celebrate a day known as Lag BaOmer which is the 33rd day of counting from Passover to the holiday celebration of the Torah called Shavuot. The celebration is because the 14,000 students of Rabbi Akiva stopped dying; these students perished because they weren’t kind to one another. My question is, I understand…

Read More

“Don’t worry about the state of someone else’s soul and the needs of your body. Worry about the needs of someone else’s body and the state of your own soul.” – Rabbi Levi Yitzchok I look at this statement and it tells me everything I need to know about the intention of my religion and…

Read More

I have suffered with anxiety for most of my life, which has been both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because anxiety motivates me and gets me going. It’s a curse because it can be debilitating, and provides me with a skewed perspective as my defenses are down. The ultimate negative is when…

Read More

How can we come to see the similarities instead of the differences? How do we figure out a way to understand that we are all seeking the same thing—safety and connection—and that it’s possible for us to coexist and find similarities, even if we really are polar opposites in terms of world views, beliefs, etc.?…

Read More

Expectations are resentments that are just waiting to come out. However, the truth is that we all have expectations, and it isn’t at all realistic not to have them. To take it a step further, extremes of any emotion aren’t healthy, and in fact they can be deadly; it’s all about the happy medium and…

Read More

The greatest gift a teacher can give me is two-fold; first is saying, “I don’t know, let me see if I can find an answer”, second is to admit when they were wrong and say, “I’m sorry, I made a mistake”, and a close third is sharing their own humanity.  As a child, at times…

Read More

“What makes Abrahamic monotheism different is that it believes there is an answer to the question, why. Neither the universe nor human life is meaningless, an accident, a mere happenstance. As Freud, Einstein, and Wittgenstein all said, religious faith is faith in the meaningfulness of life.” -The Great Partnership from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Every great solution requires…

Read More

Masks. We all wear them. Sometimes, it’s to protect ourselves; sometimes it’s to fool others into thinking we are someone we aren’t; sometimes it’s due to fear of judgement and shame. Personally, throughout my life I have worn a mask many times because I feared that if you really knew me, you couldn’t possibly love me.…

Read More

Recently, I was reading a speech made by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in July, 2006 at an Israel solidarity rally. This was at a time when Israel was stuck fighting in both Gaza and Lebanon—something that almost 18 years later is continuing to happen. The Oslo accords, while a great effort and hope for peace, unfortunately…

Read More