Evan Moffic, @chicagorabbi, is Rabbi of the historic Congregation Solel in Highland Park, Illinois. He was named to that post at age 30, becoming one of the youngest senior rabbis in the Reform movement. In addition to writing for Beliefnet, Rabbi Moffic writes a weekly note of inspiration for subscribers to his blog. He teaches several ongoing classes at the synagogue and in the community at Common Ground-Chicago. His writings have also appeared in the Forward, the New York Jewish Week, and several of the most widely-read blogs in the country. They include subjects of interfaith weddings, Jewish values, Reform Judaism and the intersection of science and religion.
Rabbi Moffic was ordained by the seminary of Reform Judaism, the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, in 2006. He graduated with high honors from Stanford University in 2000, where he wrote a thesis on Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. An avid runner and tennis player, Rabbi Moffic is married to Rabbi Arielle Moffic, the director of Interfaithfamily/Chicago. They are the parents of two young children.
He believes that his philosophy of the life was captured best by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
In seminary, one moral dilemma seriously divided the class. The question was whether to give money to the homeless on the street in downtown Cincinnati, where the seminary was located. This question concerned me directly, as I was also interning […]
On the most sacred Jewish holiday of the year–Yom Kippur–we literally imagine our own funeral. Men traditional wear a white sash that will also serve as their burial shroud. The purpose is to picture our own death in a way […]
Tonight begins the Jewish “Festival of Tabernacles.” Known in Hebrew as Sukkot, we spend time in temporary outdoor dwellings. They remind us of the fragility of life our ancestors experienced during their journey across the Sinai Desert. Vanity, Vanity, All is […]
Religious leaders are public figures. We live on display. People look at what we drive, what we eat, what we wear. Unfortunately, sometimes we hide parts of ourselves in order to conform to people’s expectations. We might convey feelings of […]
Dr. Ezekiel Emauel, the well-known bioethicist and brother of the mayor of my town, argued recently in an essay in the Atlantic Monthly that 75 is the perfect age to die. After that, he said, most people have little to […]
Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It is filled with solemn prayer, and most Jews fast. How, then, can it be the happiest day of the year? Allow me to explain… Picture the scene: It is […]
Once upon a time, a poor man walked from town to town. He carried a heavy load on his back. One day a wagon driver stopped his horse and offered him a ride to the next town. The grateful man said […]
While speaking at a church recently, I received an urgent question: “Is it okay for me to wish my Jewish friends ‘A Happy New Year’ on Rosh Hashanah? “Absolutely,” I said. The questioner then asked what was appropriate to say […]
When Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinksy married, I wrote about the religious choices they would have to make. Those choices come into sharper focus now that they are the parents of a beautiful daughter, Charlotte. Those choices are not clear-cut or absolute. Having […]
This is the text of the sermon I delivered on the morning of the Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. You can Click here to get the MP3 audio recording of my delivering the sermon The most popular musical in the […]