The Power of Prayer

I believe that our generation is craving a spiritual connection. We can sense the depth of our existence even though an epicurean mist has made our vision hazy. Last year while working for the UCLA Journal of Religion I read…

How Counting the Omer Makes Time More Real

When a baby is conceived, their parents excitedly count the days until their birth. After birth, each week is precious. During the first years of a child’s life, for a parent, each milestone is important and shared with whoever cares…

Loving or Hating a Jew: Which is Easier?

“I have never seen such beautiful blue water!” Jennifer proclaimed as she is telling you about her amazing spring break trip to Cancun. You could not afford to go anywhere. You feel the tremendous stress of your forced smile and…

Response to Daily Bruin Editorial on the Poway Shooting

A young self-avowed white nationalist walks into a synagogue in Poway with an AR-15 rifle. Yelling anti-Semitic slurs, he shoots and kills Lori Gilbert Kaye, the mother of a current UCLA student. He wounds but does not manage to kill…

The Only Way to Win is to be Proud

“She drove me to Hebrew day 6-8th grade almost every day. Lives down the street from me” This was the text I received after Shabbat from a close childhood friend about Lori Gilbert Kaye, the woman who was mercilessly killed…

Parashat Acharei Mot: A Lesson in Comforting

As Parashat Acharei Mot begins, Aaron is still dealing with the fallout of the tragic death of two of his sons. The Midrash in Avot D’rabbi Nathan (1:14) states that Moshe had already comforted Aaron in the immediate aftermath of…