Parashat Chayei Sarah comes to us again this year in a time of wistfulness and worry, arriving as hostilities in Jerusalem and Hebron heat up. One would be hard-pressed to guess from the gentle stories told in Chayei Sarah of the deaths and burials of Sarah, Abraham and Ishmael...
Hezbollah says Israel wants to set ‘new rules’ with Syria raid
Netanyahu defends planned Congress speech as anti-Iran strategy
Argentinian journalist flees to Israel, fearing for life
Invitation to Netanyahu to address U.S. Congress: When bipartisan means partisan
Argentina suspects rogue agents were behind death of prosecutor
Why I don’t want to watch the (white) Oscars this year
Five years in the making, ‘The Return’ takes new look at Polish Jewish revival
Silver’s arrest a 2nd strike for N.Y. Orthodox power brokers
Rabbi Lisa Edwards
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March 29, 2010 | 4:45 pm
I’ve taken to traveling light to avoid costly airline baggage charges. But my wife wisely reminds me that paying $25 to check luggage costs less than a chiropractor visit.
My back already sore from a trip last week, I returned home in time to clean for Passover. I did what I do...
January 20, 2010 | 3:45 am
December 2, 2009 | 12:05 am
After their grandfather died, a friend and her brother sat with an attorney.
“You never really know the strength of a sibling relationship until you inherit together,” the attorney said.
The same can be true of other “inherited” and challenging situations and relationships...
August 11, 2009 | 6:30 pm
When I was a teenager, my friends and I used to laugh at the public service announcements that played nightly on television, back in the day of legal youth curfews: “It’s 11 p.m. Do you know where your children are?”
As Shabbat Nachamu, the “Sabbath of Comfort,” drew to a...
June 17, 2009 | 2:23 pm
I recently had the privilege of listening to Rabbi Arik Ascherman, an American-born Israeli rabbi who, often at great physical risk to himself, advocates for others through the organization Rabbis for Human Rights. Ascherman mentioned this week’s Torah portion, Shelach-Lecha,...
February 18, 2009 | 2:03 pm
I’ve been a passionate admirer of Abraham Lincoln since third grade, when I read every biography I could grasp. My thoughts turn to Lincoln when I read the passage about slavery that begins this week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim, but more so now given the happy coincidence of the...
December 18, 2008 | 4:03 amA television comedy director on hiatus takes a brief journey to Eastern Europe to look for the birthplaces of her grandparents. While there, she meets a professor documenting the lives of the last remaining shtetl Jews. The professor encourages the director to visit a few of these...
May 22, 2008 | 11:00 amMy phone has been ringing off the hook. My e-mail box is bulging. People are calling to get their wedding date on my calendar.
"Rabbi, can we have you June 16?"
"Rabbi, I'll be away until June 17, are you free that day?" "Hey, Lisa, can we plan a group ceremony down at the courthouse...
July 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm
"Every head is ailing, and every heart is sad" (Isaiah 1.5). We read these words in this week's haftarah for Shabbat Khazon (Sabbath of Vision), the Shabbat before Tisha B'Av. The words seem especially poignant and true these past few weeks, as we watch in angst as events unfold in...
April 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm
I recently visited a congregant in the hospital and was surprised to find a doctor crying in the hallway. I told her I was a rabbi and asked if I could help. The doctor immediately apologized for her tears.
"It's been a hard week," she said, "I'll be OK."
She told me she had just...
January 26, 2006 | 7:00 pm
Ten years ago, when my parents, z"l, were 82 and 89, they traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles to be with my partner Tracy and me as we stood together under the chuppah. At the celebration of her daughter's lesbian wedding, my mother was heard to say quite matter-of-factly: "I guess...
October 27, 2005 | 8:00 pm
"They both have dimples," Rachel's earnest classmate declared, "that's how you can tell they're sisters!"
The explanation was simple enough -- no matter that 7-year-old Rachel has white skin and her 21-month-old sister, Angela, has black skin.
I just spent the weekend with more...
August 4, 2005 | 8:00 pm
Last January, I breathed a sigh of relief. The new domestic partnership law went into effect in the state of California, giving senior citizen and same-gender couples a range of state rights nearly equal to the rights given married couples in California.
In so doing, California...
April 21, 2005 | 8:00 pm
On March 31, The New York Times ran an astonishing page: a photo showing Christian, Jewish and Muslim clerics gathered in what the newspaper called "a rare show of unity." What brought these sometime enemies together? The headline told the story: "Religious Chiefs Decry Gay Pride...
March 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm
With great sadness my friends decided to divorce in January 2001. They had given themselves one year into the new century to see if they could make it work, and it didn't seem as if they could. Then, in 2002, they happily reconciled. When asked why, they say Sept. 11 brought...
July 15, 2004 | 8:00 pm
"Why do human fingers resemble pegs? So that if one hears something unseemly, one can plug one's fingers in one's ears." -- Babylonian Talmud Ketubot 5b
Between political campaigns and summer weddings, we've been witnessing a lot of promises and vows lately. As a rule, I find...
April 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm
"Israel is not a people of definers but a people of witnesses." -- Abraham Joshua Heschel, "God in Search of Man" Among the several stunning memorials at Buchenwald concentration camp, designer Horst Hoheisel created a simple, flat steel square placed on the cold, hard ground and...
January 22, 2004 | 7:00 pm
When Jews come across the biblical name for God -- spelled yod-hay-vav-hay in Hebrew -- custom teaches us to substitute the term Adonai ("my Lord"), for according to Jewish tradition those letters are the unpronounceable name of God. A rabbi professor of mine used to elicit nervous...
November 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm
Years ago, one of my colleagues had the awesome task of officiating at the funeral of a 9-year-old girl killed by a car while riding her bicycle. My friend gathered the children from that small Jewish community and gently invited them to speak their true feelings.
"I'm mad at my mom...