Author: Aryeh Bernstein


There Is Lonely: Sin, Alienation, and Grieving for Prince

For the love of God, the 5-foot Minnesotan symbol of American depravity has cut to the essence of the problem of sin: It is loneliness. When I sin against U, I am ruptured & alienated from U; from the suppressed, best, true version of myself; from humanity; & from God, the 1 Who always sees me in my potential goodness, no matter how far and how persistently I stray. This is the deepest loneliness. Dealing with guilt and brokenness is at its core about treating our alienation and restoring solidarity, about reviving the truth that we are 1 with our fellow humans and with our best potential.


Bernie Sanders Hires, Suspends Simone Zimmerman as Jewish Outreach Coordinator

Well, that was awkward.
Just a few days after announcing that it had hired Simone Zimmerman to be its national Jewish outreach coordinator, the Bernie Sanders campaign suspended her position yesterday, in reaction to loud, right-wing criticism of her positions, activism, and language in opposing the Israeli occupation and its enablers. I had planned yesterday to take on her chorus of critics for their ethically compromised and sometimes farcical gotcha-combing of Zimmerman’s very public and proud paper trail. Now, I must add some serious, head-shaking, profound disappointment in the Sanders campaign for what really looks like management amateur hour.


On the 20th Yahrzeit of Matt Eisenfeld and Sara Duker, z"l

Tonight…the 5th of Adar, is the 20th yahrzeit of Sara Duker and Matt Eisenfeld, z”l, budding young scholars and idealists who were killed in a Hamas bus bombing in Jerusalem at ages 22 and 25, respectively….Their rich, elegant, delicate, supple manifestation of love of Torah and cultivation of intentional personalities of kindness, joy, endless responsibility, and empathic curiosity left an indelible imprint on many of us who have tended integrated lives of Torah, feminism, and social responsibility. In time for the yahrzeit, my brother, Rabbi Edward Bernstein, Matt’s classmate in yeshiva and JTS rabbinical school, published a precious new volume of Matt and Sara’s…Jewish writing…Entitled Love Finer than Wine: The Writings of Matthew Eisenfeld and Sara Duker, it gives a deep, broad, and intimate picture of two pioneering young Jewish adults and spiritual personalities whose young lives a generation ago blazed the trail for much of the best of today’s Jewish landscape. For this 20th yahrzeit, I am posting here a piece I wrote ten years ago and circulated among friends for the 10th yahrzeit, which also coincided with Parashat Terumah. May their memory be a blessing.

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