JACOB, ESAU AND THANKSGIVING

For Jews, Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement—is two months past. But Thanksgiving is days off, and all Americans might bear in mind a story from Torah that suggests we pay attention to atonement daily. Jacob, the younger twin of Isaac and Rebecca, purchases his brother Esau’s birthright for a bowl of lentil stew. Deduct points…

Read More

WRITERS BLOCK—SORT OF

I always take notes on my next novel and short story while working on my current project. But a theme for this week’s post challenged me. Yet stimuli abound. So I’ll share some thoughts. As I write, Democrats have yet to pass the classic infrastructure bill linked to “human infrastructure” legislation to help American workers…

Read More

LARRY’S COMFORTING BOOK

Do books matter? For a Good Year: Selected High Holy Day Sermons by Congregation Sherith Israel’s Rabbi Emeritus Larry Raphael (z”l) is giving me needed perspective on critical theological and personal issues.  Larry’s wife Terrie put the book together. I’m grateful.  The Jewish High Holy Days are more than a month behind us, so it’s easy to…

Read More

MOSES’ DEATH AND REBIRTH

Moses died this past week. Unlike the rest of us, he’ll soon come back to life. This testifies to nearly 3,000 years of Jews venerating the written word. Last Tuesday night/Wednesday marked Simchat Torah—Joy of the Torah. Ashkenazi Jews complete the annual Torah cycle, reading V’zot Hab’rachah (Deuteronomy 33:1–34:12) and starting anew with the first…

Read More

REMEMBERING HERB

My brother-in-law Herb Zaks (z”l) died on July 27. Married to my sister Kay for 61 years, he was 85. But this isn’t the end. We met when Herb was 21, me 13. He became a big brother, always supportive. We loved sports and went to Yankees games with my father’s weekend and holiday tickets.…

Read More