Executive Editor Stream

In My Own Words: America’s social contract by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Social contract: “an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, for example by sacrificing some individual freedom for state protection.” – Oxford Languages

The fundamental basis for American democracy is a social contract. That includes accept…

In My Own Words: A new beginning? by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Editor’s note: This column was written before the January 6 events in Washington, DC. 

A new beginning? Does anyone really believe that 2021 and a new presidency really means a new beginning? Americans believe that we can always start anew, leaving the old behind like clothes we discard.…

In My Own Words: Looking back at 2020 by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When looking back at the first essay I wrote for this column in 2020, I almost laughed. The column wished a happy good-bye to 2019. At that time, I was glad to see the end of 2019 because of family problems, particularly the fact that my mother now lived in a nursing home. Little did I know …

Off the Shelf: The Bible through Jewish and Christian eyes

When someone who doesn’t understand Hebrew asks me what is the most accurate translation of the Bible, I find it difficult to suggest just one work. If you are really interested in the meaning of the words, the best way to study is to compare two or three translations. Where the translatio…

In My Own Words: Slogans and nuance by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Slogans can be great: a few words or a short phrase can give us the essence of a matter. Sometimes, though, they can be counterproductive, especially if you think about them in any depth. After all, what does “Coke: It’s the real thing” mean? We think we know because the ads featuring …