Executive Editor Stream

What are our government’s responsibilities?

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman


What are our government’s responsibilities to its citizens? It was a comment by a Pennsylvania lawmaker that made me think about this question. Rep. Jim Cox, chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee, complained that Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration s…

A lesson of the High Holidays

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman 

No one is perfect. In fact, Judaism doesn’t expect us to be perfect. If you’re shaking your head wondering how I came to that conclusion, it’s simple: Yom Kippur, a day when we’re required to confess our sins. The verses found in the book of Leviticus call…

In My Own Words: Biology, Gender, and Sexuality

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Are people allowed to have different opinions about issues without being demonized or receiving death threats? Those are all too common today when it comes to politics, but have not been restricted to that: the same are occurring with disagreements about issues of g…

In My Own Words: Ice Cream, Settlements, and Societal Pressure

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

This column isn’t going to make anyone happy, including myself. My reactions have been all over the place, so writing this is supposed to help me define my thoughts, but I’m not sure it’s going to help.

The issue? The headline on the JTA breaking news e-mail …

In My Own Words: Tribute to a Friend

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I don’t usually write about my rabbinical work in this column, but, although there are numerous political and social issues of importance I could discuss, it’s personal ones that are haunting me this week. On June 16, for the first time, I did the funeral of a p…