Our Embeddedness in the Natural World

Rabbi Bradley Artson
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on February 2, 2023
On a family vacation to Hawaii, I joined my twins, Shira and Jacob, snorkeling by a coral reef. Beautiful coral undulated like ocean flowers, with buzzing bees replaced by fish of astonishing colors and variety. Putting my ears under water, I could hear the clicking of the coral, a sound imperceptible if you don't actively attend for it, but once it becomes the subject of your focus, almost deafening. Read more...

Calling Us to Attention

myra headshot
by Rabbi Myra Meskin
posted on January 12, 2023
When I teach the Exodus story to AJU’s Miller Introduction to Judaism students, I share that it is one of the greatest gifts that the Jewish people has given to the world. This story, which we will begin reading this shabbat, is the moment where we stake claim to a God who sides with justice over power, where lowly slaves are seen as God’s beloved children, where tyrants and dictators are brought crashing down, and where we’re taught that those who are brought down by degradation will be carried on eagles’ wings to a place of dignity. Read more...

The Multiple Lights of Hanukkah

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on December 16, 2022
This year my family will be spending most of Hanukkah in Israel in preparation for the wedding of my son (who made Aliyah in 2016) which takes place immediately after the holiday. I am looking forward to seeing candles in windows all around me and eating over-the-top sufganiyot (jelly and cream filled fried doughnuts) from Israeli bakeries. I’ve also been thinking about the different meanings and understandings of this holiday for Israel/Israelis, and for Jews in the Diaspora, especially in North America (and perhaps Europe). Read more...

We Didn't Land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock Landed on Us

Headshot of Rabbi Aryeh Cohen
by Rabbi Aryeh Cohen
posted on November 22, 2022
It is almost universally accepted today that the mythology of Thanksgiving has no relation to history. On the one hand, the story as it is performed, practiced, and retold in American grade schools and town squares has some notion that a band of New England “Indians” (who are universally never named) helped the Pilgrims through their first winter, and as a sign of gratitude and thanks, were invited to celebrate a Thanksgiving feast together after the harvest. Read more...