From the Executive Editor

In My Own Words: “God loves me”

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

“God loves you. I want to hear you say, ‘God loves me.’ Yes, out loud. ‘God loves me.’” I’ve only said this to one person, someone I felt needed to hear it. Those words were said in the context of the chaplaincy work I do with individuals who have dev…

In My Own Words: Contradictions

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Contradiction #1

“No one can tell me what to do with my body. It’s mine and I demand complete autonomy over it.” Two different groups have made this claim, but each focuses on a different issue. I’m betting most readers will guess one or the other, but can…

In My Own Words: The unspeakable

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The request came in an e-mail: the person asked if I would review the book “Chosen: A Memoir of Stolen Boyhood” by Stephen Mills, which tells of how Mills was sexually abused by the director of the Jewish summer camp he attended. The person who wrote the e-mail …

In My Own Words: Gun violence and free speech

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Gun violence

Is it possible to say anything new about gun violence? In April, before the killings in Buffalo and Uvalde, TX, I’d thought about doing a column after reading this in The New York Times’ daily e-mail: “Murders have spiked nearly 40 percent since…

In My Own Words: More than one million gone

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

More than one million Americans have died of COVID during the pandemic. More lives have been lost to this disease than the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the two world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The death toll is greater than the death t…