Bring Jewish Learning to Life

A blog by Robert Lichtman, Chief Jewish Learning Officer

Juneteenth - One Month Later

I’m not gonna lie. I was ignorant about Juneteenth until last month.

Mightily Blessed

There is a deep and wide and strong stream of rational thought flowing through centuries of Jewish discourse that eschews superstition, omens, amulets, and incantations. Swirling in that same stream are equally ancient and mystical currents that have introduced and carried such ideas, defyin…

There’s a "Here" Here

For as long as our collective memory can recall, we have been playing dreidel, winning and losing according to the letters on the four-sided top with the nun (nes), gimel (gadol), hey (haya) and shin (sham) — a Great Miracle Happened There. “There” refers to the land of Israel where ou…

The Thanks-givers

We are thanks-givers. Our very name, Yehudim (Jews), refers to Jacob’s son, Judah, one of the few remaining tribes from which most of us are descended. Judah’s name was conferred by his mother, our matriarch Leah, who said, “Thank God, for this child.” Judah’s very existence each a…

Soothe the Sting, Savor the Sweet

The honey on our Rosh Hashanah tables that quickly gets messy from all of us dipping apples, challah, or what-have-you to symbolize our wishes for a sweet New Year comes from a bee that stings.

The honey metaphor is resonant not just because of the sweet, but also because of the sting.

We …