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  • Père Jacques

    Père (Father) Jacques was a Carmelite priest who took in Jewish refugees during the Holocaust and became a leader of the French Resistance, at the cost of his own life.

  • Christmas In Jerusalem With My Beautiful Mom

    Good Shabbos! Ten years ago today, I toured the Old City of Jerusalem on Christmas Day with Mom. My film “When Do We Eat?” was playing in the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, and Mom seized the chance to visit Israel with me – something we’d never done together.

  • My Soul Is Not A Thing – It’s A Channel

    The night I experienced the reality of my soul.

  • The 10th Commandment, Tony Kushner, And Me

    The Ten Commandments prohibit murder with just two words, while the prohibition on coveting includes fifteen. The no-coveting rule is the 10th Commandment – the climax of God’s revelation at Sinai. Why?

  • I’m Salvador, And I’m A Complicated Jew

    I was recently asked, “Sal, what kind of Jew are you?” It was not a rhetorical question.

  • Getting High In The Holiest Place on Earth

    Israel in general, and Jerusalem in particular, is a tangibly holy place. During my recent journey, I connected with its spiritual energy everywhere I went, and I was changed by it.

  • I Saw My Grandmother’s Soul Leave Her Body

    I know the soul exists. Perhaps that’s not a big claim given how often people talk about souls. Despite all that attention, however, it remains difficult to know what the soul is, and how it affects our lives.

  • A Peek Behind God’s Curtain

    I have had two deep mystical experiences that redirected my life. Without them, I would not be the man, husband, son, father, writer, director, or Jew I am today.

  • The Extraordinary Death Of Eddie Dinkowitz

    “A former member of our community has died. He had no family, so there will be no shivah. If anyone wishes to attend the burial, please see me after the meeting.”

    I heard this from my rabbi during a board meeting at our synagogue. It made me sad, and I felt worse when I learned more about the deceased.

  • A Jewish Journal Cover Story: The Accidental Talmudist

    My voyage through the sea of Talmud began with a miracle and ended in transformation. I joined 90,000 Jews at MetLife Stadium to celebrate the completion of the  7 1/2 year cycle.

  • I Sobbed For A Stranger

    The Jewish world is not one of half measures. The highs are Mt. Everest high – like dancing the hora at a wedding – and the lows are Death Valley low. 

    As a hopeless romantic and generally joyful Jew, I tend to race toward those highs. I know darkness exists. I don’t hide from it. I just try to counteract it with light.

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