Rise in Anti-Semitism

What is going on here? Over the last number of weeks, I – and indeed many of us around the country – have been asking ourselves this question. We have been asking why we are witnessing a disturbing uptick in xenophobic and racist incidents: intimidation of Muslims, hate speech directed and Sikhs, racial slurs targeting African-Americans, anti-immigrant sentiment, and explicitly anti-Semitic episodes: swastikas painted on playground equipment in Adam Yauch Park and on the NYC subway, nearly 70 bomb threats to JCC’s across the country, and most recently, the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in St Louis. We are asking… Read more

Bringing Light into the World

When God started to create the world, say the early rabbis, God began by creating light. That light was strong, luminescent, powerful. With it one could see from one end of the cosmos to the other. So powerful was that light that immediately after creating it, God understood that should it fall into the wrong hands, it could be used for devious purposes. So God hid the light for a future time, for individuals – righteous people – who would work for the betterment of humanity and of the world, who would care for each other and bring out the… Read more

When we look up

What do you find when you look up? If you’re in your apartment or office, maybe you’ll see the ceiling tiles or a light bulb, or a spider crawling across. If you go outside right now and tilt your head back, what do you see? Earlier today in New York City, you could see flakes of snow swirling around, but now as Shabbat is coming in, looking up you can see a clear blue sky. Two amazing sights in one day. We spend so much of our time looking out and across, and we can easily forget to look and… Read more

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