Quba: Azerbaijan’s Red Village

Editor’s note: while certainly not as prominent as Rabbi Sam’s, my Jewish identity plays an important role in both my life and my travels. Before reading this article, I had never heard of Quba. But now, I look forward to one day experiencing a different aspect of the history of my people through a visit…

Baku, Azerbaijan

Editor’s note: like so many people, my only real knowledge of Azerbaijan comes from reading about their recent wars (skirmishes?) with Armenia. It is nice to see another side of the country, as told by Sam Spector, our traveling rabbi. For more of Sam’s adventures, click here to visit his index page. My last article…

Four Days in Istanbul

Editor’s note: I spent a couple days in Istanbul a decade or so ago, and will be returning this coming year with TRT writer Dan Warren. This itinerary by our traveling rabbi Sam Spector is a perfect starting point for my trip, and will be for yours as well. For more of Sam’s amazing adventures,…

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Editor’s note: part two of Sam Spector’s UAE trip focuses on the capital of Abu Dhabi. I won’t lie; this was not a place on my bucket list until reading these pieces, but I now feel the urge to plan a trip. For more of Sam’s amazing adventures, click here to visit his index page.…

Berlin, the Nazis, and Now

Walking around Berlin can be a little eerie, especially to a Jewish guy like me. From here, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis did their best to exterminate my people. And traces are all over, from historical signage talking about what a building was under the Reich, to memorials, to museums. Despite how much exposure I…

Germany’s Rhineland

Editor’s note: Like Sam, I loved my time in the Rhine Valley, although I based myself in Bonn and Cologne rather than south as he did. His take on the religious history of the region is amazing, a wonderful contrast to my own experience. For more of Sam Spector’s adventures, click here to visit his…

Frankfurt’s Altstadt

Romerberg has become one of the symbols of Frankfurt. The fairly small square is fronted by buildings seemingly out of the Middle Ages, the traditional German style that represents what so many people think of as truly European. The old city hall is gilded in gold - or something with a golden appearance, as I…

Lovely Lisbon, Portugal

Editor’s note: I was fortunate to spend a full month in Lisbon in early 2020, prior to the onset of Covid. Like Sam, I loved the city, and you can click here to read my guide to it, which in turn links to other in-depth articles about specific neighborhoods and aspects of life in Lisbon.…