On Kneeling, Kippot and National Anthems

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org For the past couple of years, my attention towards the NFL has been steadily decreasing. The games are extremely long with a surprisingly small amount of actual action, and I would generally rather spend my Sundays on a hike than watching television anyways. However, recently, the National Football League offered a form […]

Why Kapparot Needs To Be Legal, By Someone Who Hates Kapparot

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org Every year right before Yom Kippur, various groups of Jews around the world practice a ritual where they swing a chicken around their head and then slaughter it, symbolically eradicating their year’s worth of sins.  This ritual, called kapparot, has become a pretty controversial issue both within Judaism and within the wider […]

Jewish Political Violence: Nothing New Under The Sun

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org Tucked in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is the easily forgotten day of Tzom (the Fast of) Gedalia. Generally occurring the day after Rosh Hashanah, this day has been set aside to remember the assassination of Gedaliah ben Achikam. As recorded in the Hebrew Bible and later sources such as Josephus, […]

Is There Anything All Jews Share?

Originally posted on Jewishvaluescenter.org We are in the middle of an age of intense disagreement. Between politics, religion, and other public topics – it seems that forming a consensus on anything is a lofty, if not impossible, goal. A couple of days ago I was on the phone with a friend and I was describing why […]

Non-denominational or non-Orthodox?

Writer’s note: I wrote this article about two years ago for Ha’Am, UCLA’s Jewish student newspaper. Since that time I no longer identify as Orthodox, however I think that the sentiment expressed in this article is extremely valid and ever-timely. Today, I still keep Kosher for meat and even in the past couple of weeks […]

The Moral Arc: Putting the Hate in Perspective

The events of the last couple of weeks have been upsetting and unsettling, to say the least. It seems that we have reached an impasse of sorts in the public sphere and it is hard to figure out what we can do to help alleviate the situation. Hate groups, violence, terrorist activity, and a president […]