There are lots of 'drashim about Chanukah, the candles, the menorah and the Maccabees. Sinai Temple's Rabbi David Wolpe offers a new and fascinating look at the significance of the ceremonial candlelighting.
The medical facility where I received treatment is one of the most prestigious in the world, but some staff members had a lousy bedside manner. One resident -- I thought of him as Dr. Worst-Case-Scenario -- would always give me his gloomiest predictions.
I know now the bar mitzvah ceremony didn't instantly make me a man, but if I am one today, after 10 years, its because of the lessons I learned throughout the entire experience.
I'd like to say it was the best of dates and the worst of dates. That would be poetic. But it didn't really happen like that. This is the story of two dates gone wrong, two blind dates actually.
We all instinctively identify and label the heroes and villains in our lives, and Judaism supports the need for iconic heroes.
The disengagement or expulsion has ended. But is this also the end of religious Zionism? Are there lessons we can and must learn that may enable us to emerge stronger from this most difficult period?
The first lesson we learned is that we are indeed one nation. There was no real violence, and there was even majestic fortitude and an exaltation of spirit displayed by many Gush Katif settlers and leaders.
On the other side of the barricades, only a small number of soldiers refused to carry out military evacuation orders, despite the charge to do so from major rabbinic voices; the soldiers and police behaved with incredible sensitivity and restraint.
It was heart wrenching but uplifting, a period in which I was both tear-filled and pride-filled to be an Israeli Jew.
If Tevye the Milkman and his neighbors had left Anatevka and "Fiddler on the Roof" in 1910, they might have ended up on New York's Lower East Side and in "A Stoop on Orchard Street."
I met Bob and Susie at the end of a float plane trip deep in the Alaskan wilderness. Most of the year they live on a 40-foot boat surrounded by nothing but forest and water.
In Parshat Ki Tisa, each Israelite is instructed to give a half-shekel to the "temple fund" every year. There is a midrash – a story told by rabbis to teach a lesson – about this portion.
A saleswoman, driving home in northern Arizona, sees a Navajo woman hitchhiking, stops the car and invites the Navajo woman to join her.
Fall was just beginning to turn the Moscow air crispy when the lot of us -- 10 high school seniors and three faculty members of Yeshiva University Los Angeles Girls' School -- trudged down the stairs of our Intourist Hotel in the late '80s, and began our walk of several miles, not to the better-known Chabad Lubavitch Synagogue or to the Moscow Choral Synagogue, but to another shul in the city's north.
The Midrash on this Torah portion contains a fascinating note.
Determination is a virtue. Remember how determined we were in Vietnam?
Tevye, Tzeitel, Golde and all the other memorable characters of "Fiddler on the Roof" graced the big screen at the University of Judaism (UJ) on Sunday, April 25, but it was the audience who stole the show.
Even a wizard at niche marketing would tremble before the title of Julie Salamon's most recent book. "Rambam's Ladder," based on an ancient text by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, sounds like it's bound for the remainder bins even before it hits the Judaica sections.
For all of you ecologists out there (and I believe every good Jew should be one), you know there's been a lot in the news lately about this new "Healthy Forests Initiative," which was introduced by our government to help thin overcrowded forests. The debate continues among different environmental groups as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. But imagine, for a moment, a world without trees at all. Indeed, this could have been the fate of our world had God's original plan been realized. But I'm getting ahead of myself....
We are standing before God and God is standing before us -- especially during this particular time, when certain fundamental liberties are being denied individuals and when justice is being withheld from specific groups -- all in the name of "homeland security."
"I'm a 'Marx Brothers anarchist,'" filmmaker Jordan Susman said. "It's the sense of having a flower squirt water into the eyes of authority."
My friend Lindsay's friend, Michelle, hosted a 30th birthday bash for her friend, Beth, last Saturday night. So of course I was there.
Until recently, the word Drohobycz (pronounced "Dro-ho-bit-ch") sounded to most American readers like an exotic Eastern European tongue twister.
Christmas Eve 2001. Bing Crosby's on my radio, Jimmy Stewart's on my television and I'm on my couch.
Throughout last month, the Israeli people commemorated the 25th anniversary of the historic visit to Israel by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and the resulting peace accord between Israel and Egypt.
The Pilgrims of New Salem, Mass., were so moved by the stories of the ancient Israelites that they thought of America as their Zion and New Salem as their Jerusalem.
Last week, before the premiere of my new show "While You Were Out," I got my first big national magazine review.
After 22 years of separation, believing his beloved son dead, Jacob was startled to hear that Joseph was not only alive but that he ruled the land of Egypt.
The ancient rabbis practiced a relatively simple form of medicine: cabbage for sustenance, beets for healing.
God gave Noah many instructions on how to build the ark. It took Noah 120 days to build it. The rabbis ask: "Why did it take him so long?" And the answer: "God was giving Noah a chance to talk to his neighbors." The neighbors would come up to Noah and say: "Why are you building this ark?" And Noah was supposed to say: "Because God is sending a flood to destroy all you wicked people." Chances are, many of the wicked people would have repented and been saved. But Noah was too shy to talk to his neighbors. And so, he built his ark, got into it and sailed away, while everyone else drowned.
We have a tendency to either divinize or demonize our heroes. Either extreme is dangerously misleading.
Not long ago, on a trip to Israel, I heard the following story about an Israeli doctor and patient.
Every summer, my sisters and I, along with our husbands and children, spend a few days with our parents at Red's Meadow resort near Mammoth.