The Story of Jewish Sweatshops

I was just there again last week. Only it’s not called Henry’s anymore, it’s called Sprouts. It looks like any other grocery store from the outside. The same large backlit sign you can see from the road. Green letters on a white background. The store is up on a hill...

Then You Might Really Know What It’s Like

I’ll admit it.  I had the album.  I really thought it was cool.  The rugged truck on the cover, the first cowboy boots I’d ever seen in my life, Californian born and raised.  The name of the CD painted with whitewash, white on black, right there on the driver’s side...

A Seat at the Table

I love the feel of the Torah.  The parchment that I’m not supposed to touch, but always seems to call to me with its black letters and hard skin.  I recently opened up one of our storied scrolls for a religious school class.  The moment those two sticks of wood,...

The Divinity in Our Broken Tablets

I picture Moses walking on mount Sinai as a man both ecstatically inspired and completely at the end of his rope.  It took days to get up to the top of the mountain and who knows how much water and food he had.  Sandals wearing thin, he trudges on, sure that there...

A Faith of Empathy

I always pictured Rabbi Shammai as a curmudgeon. Serious in all things and unrelenting in what he sees as the highest standards in Jewish learning or practice. He was the rabbi in the Talmud who insisted that we must never lie, that all things should be rigid and set,...