Selected Works

Prayer Books
A completely new translation and commentary of the Shabbat and Festival siddur, with contemporary readings and kavanot throughout.
A traditional High Holiday prayer book with commentary and contemporary readings.
Bible and Theology
Recaptures the power and immediacy of psalms, showing how these poems can speak to us again.
Exploring theological reactions to tragedy and rebirth in Jewish history and today.

Why I Am A Conservative Jew: A Response to Danny Gordis

January 26, 2014

Tags: Conservative Judaism

Liberal religion is having a hard time these days. Mainstream Protestant Christianity is a graying movement with significant numbers of its churches closing. Pope Francis expressed his fears that in emphasizing issues of social justice the Catholic Church not suffer the same fate as these Protestant churches have. The daughters of Muslim women who gloried in uncovering their hair are succeeded by their daughters who insist on headdresses. In all three, the “fundamentalist” wings of these churches seem to be robust and, at least among Protestants and Muslims, ascendant.

Continue reading at The Jewish Week

Hope in this Season

September 23, 2013

Tags: Psalms

From the beginning of the month of Elul until the end of Succot, we recite Psalm 27. Why this Psalm? It doesn't speak at all of sin and repentance -- a common liturgical theme of the High Holidays. Instead as we enter the new year, the psalm speaks of hope. Read more at The Jewish Week.

The Joys and Travails of Translation

June 5, 2013

Tags: Translation

Translating can be a dangerous business. The great English translator of the Bible, William Tyndale, whose work formed the basis for the King James Version, was martyred in 1534 during the reign of King Henry VIII. Tyndale was responsible for some lovely innovations in language such as ‘lovingkindness’ for the Hebrew hesed -- a trait clearly not exercised by his detractors. Today’s critics of translation may be less violent but no less passionate about what they consider right or wrong about translations.

Continue reading at: The Rabbinical Assembly

Revisiting Patrilineal Descent and Conversion

March 1, 2013

Tags: Patrilineal descent, Judaism in America, Conversion, Intermarriage

The question of patrilineal descent is not only one of recognizing a sociological change in our time – Jews and non-Jews are marrying each other at an increasing rate — but is a profound theological transformation of our understanding of what it means to be a Jew. For many people, it is no longer the communitythat defines who is Jewish. Rather, individual families decide whether their children are Jewish. In many liberal circles, there are no objective criteria for the designation other than what individuals wish to call themselves or their children. Jewishness becomes a matter of individual choice rather than a status acquired at birth or taken on through study and conversion.

To read more, go to: CJ Online

Keeping Kosher Today

December 1, 2012

Tags: Kashruth, American Judaism

From "What We Eat: Looking at Kashrut Through a Conservative Lens":

We need an American Jewish approach to our traditional food laws that also takes into account the circumstances of Jews in an open democratic society. We engage with society at large over drinks, at dinner, at parties, in restaurants, and at home. We Conservative Jews need not separate ourselves from life by eating only in establishments under rabbinic supervision. Rather, we can participate in the larger culture while maintaining our distinctive Jewish consciousness. Thus, entering a restaurant and checking which items conform to kashrut – what we may order within a broad reading of the law – is a way of integrating into society while maintaining our particular religious consciousness.

To read more go to: CJ Online

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