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From where I was seated on the bimah in the sanctuary of a Rhode Island synagogue a few months ago, there appeared to be at least 200 individuals sitting in the pews.   We had gathered together … more
Reading and rereading the cover story in the March 17 issue of the New York Times Magazine has made me angry and made me sad. Nikole Hannah-Jones, a winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize and creator … more
I set foot in Israel for the first time in June 1965. Having just turned 21 and looking forward to my senior year at Columbia come September, I was to spend most of my summer volunteering at … more
On Sunday, April 5, 2020, I made my first entry into what I have come to call my “Covid diary.” Four days later , on Thursday, April 9, I found myself writing about “social … more
This column originally ran on Nov. 21, 2014, and is relevant today. Psalm 137 – at least its first six verses – is one of the best known and best loved of our 150 psalms: By the … more
It was almost sundown on Friday, March 7, 1986, when David Blumenfeld, a middle-aged New York rabbi, happened to be walking down David Street in the Old City of Jerusalem, returning home after a … more
On March 28, 1935, “Triumph of the Will” – directed, produced, edited and co-written by Leni Riefenstahl – was released. The film documents the 1934 Nazi Party Congress held … more
Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) is the third in a line of Hebrew poets who have earned a place in the Israeli consciousness as “national poets.”   The first of such men, Chaim Nachman … more
It was in the early ’60s when I first became acquainted with the luminous writing of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972); I was at a camp in Clinton, Connecticut, attending a week-long … more
My first encounter with Harold Bloom (1930-2019), Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale, was in the early ’80s, when I was teaching a seminar-style class in Jewish mysticism at Connecticut … more
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