Columns

Finding wisdom in the compost pile

Rabbi Sara Metz

This past June, my family moved from New Jersey to Tucson. As we started unpacking and dreaming of our life here, we looked to our yard. We knew that the blessing of rain is scarce in this desert climate. For that reason, we have worked with people who know… Read more »

Examining justice: Introducing the Tzedek Project

What is justice? Equity? Fair treatment? The blindfolded woman holding the scales? What would the perfect world, filled with justice,  look like? Deuteronomy 16:20 tells us: “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof l’maan tichyeh.” Justice, justice you shall pursue, that you may live… In the months of 2021, we will explore many… Read more »

To truly see

Rabbi Sam Cohon

What does it mean to be able to really perceive, not just observe? How can we look at a troubled period and see not just the facts, but the meaning? As we enter a new secular year, how can we best learn to use the complicated mess of this… Read more »

Rabbi’s corner: Confronting information overload

Rabbi Thomas A. Louchheim

There is no age and no situation where values do not play a part. Modernity has created a fire hose of information that often — without reflection — drives us to analyze the information from our own accustomed viewpoint. We are so rushed to decide that we leave our… Read more »

Letting go is all we have to hold on to

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

If you had told me a year ago that I would change my life by selling my Tucson home to be closer to my Mom in New Jersey or that I would spend the winter bundled up in Boston rather than hiking in the sunshine, I would have responded:… Read more »

Rabbi Helen Cohn: Our own special corner

I find it increasingly difficult to understand how any religion or spiritual tradition can put itself at the center of the world and claim it has the only truth about creation and the Divine. The internet offers windows into all corners of the world.  Interfaith dialogue among open-hearted people… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: Transforming negativity to positivity 

Many times we rely on life’s happenings to determine our mood and productivity rate. Life often throws us unexpected curved balls and it dampens our spirit. The truth is, negative does not always mean bad. The implications of implementing discipline can come across as negative, yet its core values… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: It is up to us to repair the earth

Rabbi Helen T. Cohn

I’ve been thinking about rain lately, and noticing the lack of it.  Tucson had a big monsoon several months ago which revealed a slight leak in our roof. We think the leak was fixed, and I’ve been waiting ever since for another big rain to confirm that, but a… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: Upon whose shoulders are we standing?

rabbi-stephanie-aaron

We have just completed the cycle of what Rabbi Kerry Olitzky calls “the Fall Holidays of Memory.” During the month of Elul that leads into the Days of Awe, we spent many hours remembering this past year, doing cheshbon hanefesh, taking an accounting of our souls. This involves tallying… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: Despite social distancing, work toward a Sukkat Shalom for our community

Rabbi Norman T. Roman

I remember the dialogue session well, although it took place more than 45 years ago. Two respected, learned Jewish scholars, who been study partners (chevruta) at the yeshiva in New York, came together in Cleveland, where I grew up, for a Shabbat afternoon presentation during the Festival of Sukkot.… Read more »

Gratitude: an antidote to emotional distancing

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

Since March of this year, we have been forced to reassess and restructure how we think about and interact with the world. From empty calendars and stockpiled closets to work, family, and social lives that resemble nothing we have ever known, we bear witness to living in a COVID-19… Read more »

Pride in leadership: Pursuing a world inclusive and just for all

Graham Hoffman

As I have recently assumed the mantle of the president and CEO of both the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, I am humbled by the responsibility that I now bear as the leader of these agencies and this remarkable community. Authenticity is central to… Read more »

Judaism values quest for truth, not endless arguing

Rabbi Robert Eisen

Which of the following makes you the angriest: • Arguing with someone when you know you are right? • Arguing with someone when you know they are wrong? • Arguing in general? One of the comments I hear all too often is, “The thing I love most about Judaism… Read more »

Rabbi’s corner: Seven lessons from Ruth

Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin (Britta Van Vranken)

Jewish communities have a custom of reading the Book of Ruth on the holiday of Shavuot, which commemorates the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It is not an obvious selection. The Talmudist Rabbi Zeira asked, “This scroll does not contain the laws of impurity or purity, prohibitions or… Read more »

Rabbi’s Corner: New view of current ‘exile’

Rabbi Israel Becker

As I was praying alone in my study this Passover, words I had been saying my entire life suddenly popped out of the siddur: “We have been exiled from our land. We are unable to serve you in your Holy House.” We also are experiencing an exile, from our… Read more »

Celebrating Passover in a corona world

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

Passover is the holiday when Jews come together for Seder with families, friends and community to retell the core Jewish narrative which goes like this: We were slaves for over 400 years in Egypt, then God  brought us out of Egypt “with a strong hand and an outstretched arm”… Read more »

A Pesach recipe and a slew of centenarians are cause to celebrate

Passover prep Due to the coronavirus, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy Lion of Judah Society canceled a pre-Passover cooking demonstration featuring Marianne Banes. Tucson has a vibrant food scene and Banes is one of its most popular professional and pastry chefs, with a 43-year culinary career.… Read more »

This new reality brings our focus inward

Have you ever been engrossed in your phone, and then your phone dies, leaving you feeling at a loss? The office we run out of the door to in the mornings no longer needs us there. The big dinner we are getting a babysitter for has been postponed. The vacation… Read more »

I’m a pediatrician who sees kids with coronavirus every day. It’s changed my whole way of life.

Health care providers wear protective equipment, like gloves, but some still get the coronavirus. (Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — I am a pediatrician who for 15 years has practiced in a medical office in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We serve the local Hasidic community and see a variety of other patients from Brooklyn, the Lower East Side and Queens. When the coronavirus emerged… Read more »