16 07, 2019

My Father’s Tools

2019-07-16T19:15:59+00:00 July 16th, 2019|USA Today|

My mom tried her best to say it casually, but it was still such a painful sentence: “Steven honey, now that dad is in the nursing home and the town house is sold, before I give everything away you should go downstairs in the basement and take whatever you want.” My dad was not a materialistic guy.  He worried about money his entire life—to the point that even after he made it in business, he still reused his dental floss—after [...]

9 05, 2019

The Beasts Within Us

2019-05-09T21:48:24+00:00 May 9th, 2019|TIME Magazine|

Rarely a day, rarely a minute goes by when we don't have to decide who we really are. Evil versus good is not a question of them and us and when. It is a question of us and us and now. I don’t remember much from my freshman Intro to Philosophy course 40 years ago, but I do remember a debate about the ancient Latin proverb "Homo hominis lupus-man is a wolf to men." A wolf in this case is [...]

21 04, 2019

Maria Shriver’s Easter Message – I’ve Been Thinking

2019-04-21T23:41:27+00:00 April 21st, 2019|Books|

Happy Easter! Happy Easter! Happy Easter! Just writing those words makes me smile. Easter is all about rising and resurrection, as I mentioned last week. That makes me smile this morning as well. Rising isn’t easy, but it is aspirational. Each of us will be called to rise up throughout our lives, and how we answer that call will say a lot about who we are and who we want to be. There will be times when we’ll be called to [...]

9 01, 2019

Why Marriage is a Lot Like Halibut Fishing

2019-04-21T23:35:00+00:00 January 9th, 2019|Fox News|

Whenever I meet a couple that has been married for more than 50 years I always ask them how they’ve done it.  One man said, “We agreed whoever wants the divorce has to take everything in the garage.” A 94-year-old woman whose husband was 96 at the time whispered to me, “We always sleep naked and I keep my hand on Ted’s butt!”  It’s gross, but kind of beautiful too. “There are only three words you need to stay married,” [...]

19 12, 2018

What to Do When the Holidays Hurt

2018-12-19T03:04:28+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Fox News|

“The more noble a thing is in its perfection,” observed the sage Yohanan ben Zakkai, “the more ghastly it is in its decay.” It’s true. The further something is from its ideal state, the worse we feel about it.  Which means the holidays can be awful when you or someone you love is suffering. Even putting aside the national funk that has descended upon us in 2018 with shootings, elections, bickering and scandals, a lot of people this year are [...]

26 09, 2018

The Mindfullness of Prayer

2018-09-26T23:03:07+00:00 September 26th, 2018|TIME Magazine|

At fifteen I was arrested for shoplifting, getting a D minus in Algebra and mired in acned adolescent angst. Not knowing what else to do, my befuddled parents sent me to a Jewish summer camp in Wisconsin and hoped for the best. The best is exactly what happened. Within hours of my return I missed camp so much my heart hurt. I missed the music, the hippie counselors, the towering, wise rabbis and the pretty girls dressed for the Sabbath [...]

22 02, 2018

Rick Warren Endorses Steve Leder’s New Book – More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us

2018-02-22T03:34:04+00:00 February 22nd, 2018|Press Releases|

LOS ANGELES - February 15, 2018 Rabbi Steve Leder’s bestselling new book, ‘More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us’ (Hay House, November 2017), has found itself at or near the top of multiple bestseller lists, including having outpaced a number of spiritual/inspirational classics. And for good reason, according to Rick Warren, founding pastor at Saddleback Church, one of America’s most influential evangelical voices and a man who knows a thing or two about classics. Warren’s ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ [...]

14 12, 2017

Hurt and Run

2017-12-22T21:17:17+00:00 December 14th, 2017|Healing|

In the space of one year, two families at the Temple where I am a rabbi had loved ones killed while they were walking across the street. One, Andrew, had recently graduated from film school and was celebrating with friends who were in town for Christmas week. Before he went out that night, he gave his father a big hug and said, “I love you, Dad.” A few hours later, he was hit by a car and the driver kept [...]

8 12, 2017

A Talk with Rabbi Steve Leder about Pain and Transcendence in his new book

2017-12-13T01:10:10+00:00 December 8th, 2017|Books|

There are very few books you can turn to again and again. More beautiful than Before is a gentle tome with a powerful lesson about overcoming pain. You will want to buy two copies of this book: one for your shelf and one to pass on. You will find yourself reaching for Rabbi Steve Leder’s wisdom many times during your life. A publicist for Hay House contacted me about reviewing Rabbi Steve Leder’s new book More beautiful than Before. So when the tiny [...]

26 11, 2017

Steve Leder Knows Things (More Beautiful than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us)

2018-06-15T22:50:53+00:00 November 26th, 2017|Books|

Steve Leder knows things. As the senior Rabbi at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the 155-year-old Los Angeles congregation that is home to some 2400 families (including mine), where Leder has served for 30 years, when his phone rings, it is often not good news.  He has had to comfort, support, minister to and officiate at hundreds of funerals, make thousands of hospital visits and counsel individuals and families as their lives and families fall apart. When cancer is diagnosed, when adultery [...]