Wear this, or wear that.

Let's try a little exercise: If I mention the Jewish concept of modesty, tzni-ut in Hebrew, often referred to by its Yiddish pronunciation, tznius, what comes to mind? Stop reading for a minute and picture what modesty means within the Jewish religion. Then come up with some images in your mind. Scroll down when you're done.   ...

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Don’t Heed the Call

New technologies provide us with fantastic opportunities to connect, communicate, and have instant access to the world around us. As a synagogue professional, however, I'm sometimes troubled by how a certain generation has embraced their devices. We all share a responsibility to train people in the proper and appropriate use of phones when in temple. ...

What’s Your Name? Who’s Your Daddy?

Names are serious business in Judaism. I think it all started in the Torah--all of the main characters' names are loaded with significance. When Sarah was pregnant with Isaac, she thought the idea of a 90-something year old woman giving birth was hilarious. Sure enough, Abraham named their son Yitzchak, meaning "laugh." Years later, as ...

The Kids are All Right

Just when we go to all that trouble to get kids to come to services, we hurriedly rush them out and tell them they're not welcome. Four times a year, we recite Yizkor--on Yom Kippur, as well as on the last day of each of the Three Festivals: Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. The service itself ...

Creating a Safe Space-Time

The recent death of Stephen Hawking made me think of his famous work, A Brief History of Time. This book has been described as the most bestselling book that no one has ever finished. I was no exception. There was simply no way I could comprehend much of what was written (the illustrations were kind ...

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