A River Reporter Blog
Wavelengths — by Rabbi Lawrence S. Zierler
Rabbi Lawrence S. Zierler

Rabbi Lawrence S. Zierler is the president and CEO of Sayva Associates, an elder-care practice based in Sullivan County. He has served as a pulpit rabbi, hospital and hospice chaplain, Jewish …

A coping plan for COVID and its aftermath

Much ink has been spilled on efforts to address the emotional and functional challenges of living through COVID and its now perceived aftermath.

'Menschlachkeit' on Main Street

The word "mensch," in the  Yiddish language, means a good and giving person. And "menschlachkeit" is the expanded term that denotes this total behavioral approach that is concerned with doing the right thing for humankind and community.

When less is more

I recently saw a New York City Health Department television ad encouraging people to trust and take the COVID vaccine. It presents a series of questions and answers.  In a slide …

All in the Family

We have a neighbor who is originally from Pakistan and is a successful entrepreneur with businesses in the area run by him and members of his extended family. Every so often he picks up another house to add to a small personal portfolio to situate relatives who have settled here or might be visiting, to work in his stores.

Who asked for this life anyway?

In Judaism, it is customary among the many acts of social kindness to wish other parents what we call “nachas,” joy or pleasure from their children. A principal goal shared across …

Standing up for controversial monuments

I am at a real loss to understand the current grip of cancel culture that has been no less remarkable and confusing than in the incessant demands by so many to tear down and/or remove numerous monuments that honor controversial personalities.

Will anyone still care?

In these troubled and tragic COVID-19 times, there has been no end to our need to mourn. We have all suffered personal losses of family, friends and professional partners. In the words of the Bible, …

‘It’s not worth a hill of beans’

Passover, or Pesach, carries the distinction of being the most widely observed Jewish holiday, outperforming even Chanukah. While both are home-based, the magic of Passover lies with the Seder …

You’re in my seat

I happen to be in Washington, D.C. this week on personal business not at all related to politics or a desire to witness the anticipated violence and riots. We happen to be staying in Northeast …
All up in lights

According to many historical sources, Chanukah represents the first battle for religious freedom after the Syrian Greeks tried to deny the small second Judean commonwealth its rights to practice and …

Separating fact from fiction: What does Jewish law say?

I do not recall ever penning an article by first citing my credentials. Rather, I leave it to the words on the page to make that determination. But here, I make an exception given the gravity of the …

Narrow knowledge and thin thinking: Passover reflections

The Passover Seder ritual is known for its myriad questions. It is an interactive experience modeled, according to some, after the Greek Symposium, highly Socratic. It is perhaps the ultimate …