LONG LIVE BOTH KINGS 

Queen Elizabeth II has gone to her ancestors. King Charles III reigns. Life in Britain and the Commonwealth goes on. Sounds like Rosh Hashanah. I monitored Elizabeth’s death and the rituals leading up to, and including, her funeral. Admittedly, I didn’t watch all that much; Carolyn followed the events far more extensively. As to the…

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FAITH GONE AWRY 

This week’s Torah portion, “Shelach-Lecha” (“Send” or “Send for Yourself”), shares something with Texas Republicans’ 2022 platform. It’s frightening. Numbers 13 tells of twelve Israelite chieftains sent by Moses to scout out Canaan, the land God promised to Israel. On returning, ten “spies” display a grievous lack of faith. They concede that the land “does…

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POTATO KUGEL AND SHARED HUMANITY 

Last weekend in Los Angeles, Carolyn and I helped our son with a project for his summer anthropology class at Pasadena Community College. It involved a beloved family recipe and offers a lesson that should be familiar to Americans but too often isn’t. Yosi had to make a short video and write up a report…

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FREEDOM AND WATER 

The Israelites fleeing Egypt, and Albert Sobel, the transgender protagonist of my novel Lola Flores, share something in common. Their freedom requires traversing or immersion in a body of water, source of life. Following the exodus from Egypt, the Israelites find themselves trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the Reed Sea. “Then Moses held his arm over…

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MARTY

On March 3, I lost a friend. So did hundreds of other people. Many were closer. But Rabbi Martin Weiner (z”l) will always hold a place in my heart. Carolyn and I met Marty in 1985 when we joined Congregation Sherith Israel. Seth, then nine, entered religious school. Yosi and Aaron followed. Every Sunday morning—rain…

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