The Most Important Ritual in American Society

The Most Important Ritual in American Society

I have long been a fan of ritual. It is almost worth being religious just to be able to perform the rituals connected with a faith tradition. The prostration during Muslim prayer, the administration of communion during Christian worship, the devotional positions of...
‘Who’s Gonna Clean Up That Mess?’

‘Who’s Gonna Clean Up That Mess?’

I work in an office with a floor-to-ceiling window that overlooked a construction site. Among the machines that were there solely to distract me was a giant version of an immersion blender. Its purpose was to churn the ground in preparation for the excavator to scoop...
When Your Trauma Triggers Itself into Vivid Remembrance

When Your Trauma Triggers Itself into Vivid Remembrance

It is impossible to overestimate the impact of a traumatic experience on any individual or group. In my experience – with myself and with others – the injury that occurs when an assault takes place on body or mind has lasting and unpredictable aftereffects. I offer an...
What Will Happen the Day You Die?

What Will Happen the Day You Die?

Like every rabbi, I have attended to bereaved family members in almost every circumstance of death. Some deaths approach slowly and inevitably, like a train arriving across a plain with a distant horizon. Some deaths burst onto the scene like a balloon popping at...