Parshah Miketz: The Identity Politics of Christmas

800px-Nativity_tree2011

I adore Christmas. The sparkling lights and trees bedecked with glitter and glass bring magical warmth to every space they inhabit. Multicolored garlands and ridiculous inflatable Christmas characters electrify lawns across America. Heartfelt songs of goodwill and giddy anticipation dominate the airwaves, and the surplus of rich, sugary treats ensure most around me are happily […]

Parshah Vayeshev: Brotherhood

tlC8KhNJR0CA2xdomLfx_DSC_0358-2

Both as a concept and in practical application, sisterhood has been enthusiastically embraced by progressive Jewish movements. Official Sisterhoods can be found in Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist synagogues. Certain Orthodox shuls and learning centers have instituted their own women’s division. Rarely, however, do we hear of brotherhood. Sisterhood as encompassing the nurturing, emotionally intimate relationships […]

Parshah Vayishlach: The Exhilaration of Vengeance

Real_fingerprints_on_fake_crime_scene

Despite its lack of productive application in our world, the concept of vengeance can seem sweet, satisfying and even righteous. When a wrong of great egregiousness has been perpetrated against the innocent, our initial response may be an anger-fueled compulsion towards retaliation. We may entertain thoughts of inflicting harm or even abject violence. We may […]

Parshah Va’yetzei: Faith as an Ultimatum

trees

Fueled by nothing more than Twizzlers, black coffee, and grooves cranked to blasting, I drove through the day and deep into the night. From Arizona to Pennsylvania and back again, I stopped only for gas and more coffee, driving on until exhaustion overcame me and fatigue forced me off the road. My Tanakh rode shotgun, […]

A Dvar Torah For Thanksgiving

1024px-Thanksgiving-Brownscombe

My favorite episode of King of the Hill is the Thanksgiving episode, where Bobby renounces the holiday in solidarity with John Red Corn, who teaches Bobby about the atrocities that happened to the indigenous people of the United States. Growing up is a terrible thing, because the nostalgia of your childhood gets replaced by the […]