Commonplace and Miraculous

This past Wednesday was a momentous day on many levels. Probably the greatest feeling was that the chaos, hatred, and fear that had been sown for the past four years being lifted. The sunlight that shone down on Washington was both real and symbolic. One of the framings of Inauguration Day that I found meaningful …

Continue reading Commonplace and Miraculous

Hatred and Healing: On Today’s Events at the United States Capitol

I'm glued to the news today, watching as the Trump presidency ends as it began: with lies and hate. Spurred on by the false narrative of a stolen election, supporters of the President have violently stormed the Capitol in Washington, DC. A day that was supposed to be one of formality and banality in the …

Continue reading Hatred and Healing: On Today’s Events at the United States Capitol

Life is Arbitrary. Insight is Not.

Eight years ago I missed celebrating the turn of the new year at midnight. And not for the regular reason these days as I find myself at midlife not willing or able to stay up late as I had in the past, content to celebrate a "New York New Years" at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time. …

Continue reading Life is Arbitrary. Insight is Not.

Invocation at the Thurston County Swearing-In Ceremony

I was honored this morning to deliver the invocation at the virtual swearing-in ceremony for Thurston County officals: In the first century, the Jewish Sage Rabbi Tarfon taught: "It is not your responsibility to finish the work [of perfecting the world], but you are not free to desist from it either" (2:16) That is, in …

Continue reading Invocation at the Thurston County Swearing-In Ceremony

My Hanukkah Confession: I’m Feeling Like that Little Vial of Oil

When we gather to begin the celebration of Hanukkah next Thursday night, we will perhaps retell the story of the "miracle" of Hanukkah--that a little amount of oil that was only supposed to burn for one day burned for eight. As the story goes, once the Maccabees defeated the Greeks for independence, the Jews found …

Continue reading My Hanukkah Confession: I’m Feeling Like that Little Vial of Oil

A Day for Gratitude, A Day for Healing

We have once again come to a time that we can add the appendage "like no other," something we have been doing since March. After a Passover like no other, the High Holidays like no other, and a myriad of smaller, more personal milestones, we have arrived at a Thanksgiving like no other. As we …

Continue reading A Day for Gratitude, A Day for Healing

Reflection on the Day after Election Day, 2020

As I write this, we still don’t have a clear resolution to the Presidential election. This was not unexpected, as we knew that with the increased amount of early and mail-in voting, it was going to take a while to tabulate the results. How long is unclear, and we must remember to have patience. Patience, …

Continue reading Reflection on the Day after Election Day, 2020

We Know Mail-in Voting. It’s a Season, Not a Day

Earlier this week my colleagues from the Washington Coalition of Rabbis and I penned a letter which was then published in the Forward. (I was proud to be lead author.) We used our experience as rabbis and WA State voters to provide some insight and guidance as to how to approach this election. The text …

Continue reading We Know Mail-in Voting. It’s a Season, Not a Day