Thanks, Bode Miller, for Letting Us See You Cry

Bode Miller has nothing to be ashamed of and neither does Christin Cooper, the NBC reporter who aked repeated questions about the Olympic skier’s late brothe r. It’s okay for a grown man to cry, and it’s okay for the rest of us to watch it, too. I watched the interview from a dual perspective, as a woman who lost her brother and as a journalist who has interviewed countless people after the death of a sibling, a parent, or a child. Continue reading

Grocery Bag Heals Old Wounds about Holiday Greetings

A Boston-area grocery store made this Jew very happy today. And yet, I couldn’t help but wonder. How did non-Jews react when they received grocery bags with that picture of that menorah and the candles all aglow with orange flames? They don’t celebrate Hanukkah. Would it make them feel left out like I did many times in my childhood? I seriously doubt it. My hunch is that the bag will give non-Jews a tiny glimpse at Hanukkah.
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Maybe All Teens Should Study Schempp’s Long-Ago Protest

In a recent article in The Atlantic, I profile Ellery Schempp, who staged the protest that led to a landmark school prayer ruling in 1963. His case should become required reading for today’s teens. He rebelled against his school system not for himself but because of an injustice. His school, like many across the country, was blatantly violating the separation of church and state by requiring prayer every morning. Continue reading

Marathon Bombings Show Randomness of Who Lives, Who Dies

Randomness. That word sticks in my mind in the aftermath of the bombings near the Boston Marathon finish line. The randomness of it all when it came to who was injured and who was not, who died and who survived. The randomness of who decided to watch the marathon that day and who chose instead to spend a day at a beach, a zoo, or Revolutionary War reenactments. Continue reading

Article on People Losing Religion Makes Me Glad I’ve Reconnected to Mine

Boston Magazine writer Katherine Ozment writes of a disturbing trend in a recent article — how a growing number of twenty-somethings identify with no religion at all. Why do I find this so disturbing? Because I once was one of those twenty-somethings. Judaism to me was a culture, not a religion, till I hit my late 30s. All religions have the power to give a community that can be there for joys and sorrows. Other things can, too, but religion seems to provide that community especially well. Continue reading

Comfort the Parents – and – Siblings of Newtown Victims

No one can fathom the kind of grief the parents of those 20 children – or the six adults killed in the same school shooting – will experience in the weeks, months, and years to come. No one, too, should try to second-guess how the tragedy will affect the victims’ siblings. Continue reading

It’s that Happy Whatever Time of Year

How do you deal with being a religious minority during the Christmas holiday season? My son, by example, is teaching me how to enjoy both the lights of Hanukkah, and the lights dotting the landscape all around town to celebrate the pending arrival of Christmas. Continue reading