I should have been on the Appalachian Trail right now. My plans to hike the 2,100-mile footpath from Georgia to Maine were pretty much foolproof, or so I thought. As the nothing-but-COVID news notifications amassed on my phone, my heart began to sink with sobering disappointment – no, I would not be hiking in 2020. This prospective adventure controlled every part of my life in the best of ways. Not

Early on during the Pandemic, I learned the term the term “moral fatigue.” In short, we used to make a million inconsequential decisions every day. These things were so inconsequential, we probably wouldn’t even identify them as decisions: “deciding to” go to the grocery store, dropping off food at a friend’s house, washing our hands, … leaving our homes. And now, because of the possible impact of some of those

In April 2016, I was tasked with writing a D’var Torah for my Wexner community on Parshat Tazriah. This is the dreaded parshah filled with rashes and skin ailments (Leviticus 13), where the Priests hold the responsibility of examining members of their community to determine if they need to be removed and isolated. In 2016, the context for my reading of the parshah was the end of a tough academic year (Greek life scandals, divestment resolution and a

Mindfulness teacher Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote that “Just stopping, is a radical act of sanity and love.” This stopping is happening on a grand scale in our society with self-quarantine and with the orders to “shelter in place.” This is a hardship for all of us, especially those who are losing wages, needing to balance work and family in a new way, and those who need to “shelter in place”

Jun 2020

Reorienting

From wherever you are reading these words today, outside your home the city is stunning in its silence… part eerie and, when considered apart from the source of the quiet, part beautiful. The entirety of this moment is disorienting. I have long been drawn to the unique silence found in nature. Once upon a time, as a teen explorer scout, I aspired to attempt a solo survival trek in the

By On January 3rd, I became a living kidney donor. Since learning of the donation, people have been effusive with their praise in ways that I find humbling, but mostly that I find incredibly uncomfortable. Kidney donation is called heroic, courageous, brave. I myself would have used all these words before, but when talking about other people. There are many days since the donation where I have wondered if it

“Exercising adaptive leadership requires that you be willing and competent at stepping into the unknown and stirring things up. Most people prefer stability to chaos, clarity to confusion, and orderliness to conflict. But to practice leadership, you need to accept that you are in the business of generating chaos, confusion, and conflict, for yourself and others around you.” –The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Ron Heifetz, Alexander Grashow and Marty

Working together as accountability partners in chavruta study has been an incredibly humbling experience. If humility, per David Jaffe in Changing the World from the Inside Out: A Jewish Approach to Personal and Social Change, is ultimately about “finding the proper relationship between the self and the world around you,” what better way to do so than to more deeply understand someone in the world around you who sees the

Last month at the US Open, Naomi Osaka crushed Coco Gauff decidedly in a 6-3, 6-0 loss. ESPN reports that after the loss, “Coco Gauff walked to her chair on the sideline…and desperately tried not to cry in front of 23,000 fans…(but) the tears started streaming down her face, no matter how hard she had tried to suppress them…Then, seemingly without a moment of hesitation, Naomi Osaka…came over to console

When the Holy One asked King Solomon to choose what he wished for himself, Solomon requested a lev shomeya לֵ֤ב שֹׁמֵ֙עַ֙ (I Kings 3:9), a “heart that listens,” which also can be read as “an understanding heart.” In his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Harvard Professor Howard Gardner lays out eight different ways that intelligence can manifest (he later added a ninth). Unfortunately, when we