Executive Editor Stream

In My Own Words: What defines our identity by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I’ve written before in this column that I have no desire to have my DNA tested. That non-desire has been confirmed by the fascinating book “The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are” by Libby Copeland (Abrams Press). Copeland’s book contains a great deal of scientific m…

Off the Shelf: Wine, beer and other beverages by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When you hear hoof beats, do you think of horses or zebras? Unless you live in Africa, the answer for most people is horses. Yet, according to Jordan D. Rosenblum, the ancient rabbis were more interested “in the anomalous rather than the mundane. In short, when they hear hoof beats, they t…

In my Own Words: Blaming the wrong people

What is wrong with our country? Two recent headlines – “Hate crimes and biases against Asians on rise”* and “FBI warns of potential surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans amid coronavirus** – make me question the basic tenets of American society.

I take these headlines and e…

Off the Shelf: Exploring the Ten Commandments by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The ethics and rules featured in the Ten Commandments form the basis for much of Western legal culture, so much so that there are debates in the United States about whether they should be printed on public property, such as court houses and legislative buildings. Yet, at a time when the hist…

In My Own Words: Identity by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I had difficulty at first remembering the new way to speak about my disability. Instead of saying, “I am hearing impaired,” I learned I was supposed to say, “I have a hearing impairment.” The idea was to change the way I defined myself – I am a person with a disability, rather than…