Looking Back On Abortion

smiling multiethnic businesswomen

Last week, a new study on abortion found that while the decision is hard for most women, no matter class, geography, or ethnicity 95% of women who have made the choice to abort do not regret it. The findings of this study go against the prevailing common narratives conveyed by the media and in politics but they were not so shocking to me.

Posted on July 30, 2015

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What Tisha B’Av Can Learn From Ramadan

Muslims and Jews at Prayer at Before Iftar, July 2015

I did not fast during Ramadan. But I did somehow experience a little bit of the meaning of the Muslim holy month that just ended a few days ago. The ebb and flow of the fast days was in my consciousness. The daily hunger and the spiritual uplift of the faithful were on my mind. I learned a tiny bit about the meaning of this month, about being conditioned through the fast to feel empathy for the poor who don’t have enough to eat. When the muezzin called just after the sun went down each day, I listened and thought of the parched throats praying and then easing their thirst and hunger. And although I did not fast, I participated in many iftar/break-fast meals with my Muslim friends. My neighbors became a little bit a part of me, and I became a little bit a part of them.

Posted on July 24, 2015

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Are We There Yet? Pluto and the Value of Patience

NH-Pluto-color-NewHorizons-20150713

Here’s my favorite fact about the New Horizons flight to Pluto: New Horizons launched at 2 pm on January 19, 2006, and passed the moon at 10:35 pm that same day (which, by the way, was nearly ten times faster than the Apollo 11 mission). It then took nearly nine and a half years to get to Pluto. It’s mind-blowing.

Posted on July 23, 2015

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Summer with the Hasidim: An Encounter with Jewish Pluralism

hasidic jews

I have a secret to share. Some of the most nonjudgmental and welcoming Jews I have ever met have been Hasidim. This surely defies all stereotypes of angry Jewish men in long black coats with shaved heads and peyot and big round fur hats shouting at Jews who dare to transgress their vision of what Jewish life should look like. We have seen the images in newspaper articles, TV newscasts and heard the descriptions from reporters on the radio. Hasidim are unwelcoming, inhospitable and unforgiving of difference. The only problem is, in my experience, that is not true.

Posted on July 17, 2015

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