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No Guarantees for the Righteous (Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:3-36:43)

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld | Posted 11.24.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

The Torah is famously laconic about the emotional lives of its central characters. We are left to imagine what Abraham was feeling as he walked up Mount Moriah with his son Isaac at his side, or what Rachel felt when she discovered that her older sister Leah had laid with Jacob in the marital bed intended for her.

Black Friday: Can't Buy Love (Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21:25-36)

Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D. | Posted 11.24.2015 | Religion
Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D.

Let's work on all of this during this season. Let's talk to one another. Let's refuse to buy into the consumer mentality. Let's spend our time and resources on each other in more faithful and spiritual ways.

Prayer and Meditation in the Aftermath of the Paris Attacks

Rabbi Or Rose | Posted 11.22.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Or Rose

Prayer is not enough, it must lead to concrete action in the world. But prayer and other contemplative exercises can serve as powerful vehicles for individual and collective reflection, illuminating our path to purposeful action.

Joy and Loss: Holding the Fullness of Possibility (Parshat Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9)

Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman | Posted 11.11.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman

Being pregnant means holding the vast span of possibilities, each in the fullness of its fruition, all at once. The blue or pink "gender reveal" party holds no candle to the many variations of joy and loss that are possible in the span of a pregnancy or the life of a human being born.

Veterans Day: War On Every Shore (Mark 13:1-8)

Rev. Shively Smith | Posted 11.09.2015 | Religion
Rev. Shively Smith

When wars initiate, conflicts ignite, and earthquakes hit, our service members and veterans act. ALL those who serve for justice, whether under the uniform of military or under the "uniform" of personal choice and moral code help make "the end" still be able to come.

'Good Old Age': Living and Dying Well (Parshat Hayyei Sarah, Genesis 23:1-25:18)

Rabbi Dr. Micha’el Rosenberg | Posted 11.04.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Dr. Micha’el Rosenberg

Until Avraham's request, this midrash tells us, a 90-year-old grandmother and a 20-year-old youth might look roughly the same; all of the telltale signs of old age with which we are so familiar -- the wrinkles, the creaking back, the slowed reflexes -- had not yet come into the world.

Our Children Are Us (Psalm 127)

Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson | Posted 11.03.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson

When we see ourselves and others as God's heritage, we will be more diligent to help those who are lost because of maltreatment, violence and abuse. Troubled youth, runaways, delinquent youth, and all of the categories we use, are lost and need help to find their way.

Listening to Women's Voices (Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24)

Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg | Posted 10.28.2015 | Religion
Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg

We are living in a great period in Jewish history, with women's Torah study, learning, and knowledge at an all-time high--and it is only growing. Women's voices matter, and men's voices matter. We are all invested in the Jewish people, and we should all be asked and heard in shaping its future.

Beijing +20 and Michelle Obama: What Is Women's Work? (Ruth 1:1-18)

Lisa Davison | Posted 10.27.2015 | Religion
Lisa Davison

Those involved in the organization of Beijing +20 are calling all of the countries that signed the Beijing Declaration and Platform to accountability. They are asking everyone to give careful attention to the advances that have been made and the unfinished items on the agenda for gender equality and female empowerment.

Becoming Like Prophets (Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27)

Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire | Posted 10.21.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire

We see here a paradigm shift, from a human endeavor that leads nowhere to a vision of a new society imbued with values of universal justice and a universal God. But can one man really change the world?

Religious Traditions: Destined to Compete? (Hebrews 7:23-28)

Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles | Posted 10.19.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles

Dallas has one of the largest Muslim populations and number of mosques in the nation. Yet, the call for Christians to protest at mosques, sometimes encircling the mosque while armed with rifles, continues. Google "Christians protest mosques" and see what's happened just in October.

'That's Why I Love Mankind' (Parshat Noah, Genesis 6:9-11:32)

Stephen Hazan Arnoff | Posted 10.14.2015 | Religion
Stephen Hazan Arnoff

In sacred stories so thick with meaning, the mix of voices spanning time and space challenge our settling into any single meaning. Narratives and counter-narratives are built into Jewish tradition, which invites interpretation and reinterpretation in a constant dance.

Guns, Drugs, Sexual Violence: What Can We Do? (Hebrews 5:1-10)

Mihee Kim-Kort | Posted 10.12.2015 | Religion
Mihee Kim-Kort

I can only say, as I often do during communion when I partake of the bread and cup: Thanks be to God. I do so trusting and hoping that there is more beyond the forests of our world's darkness.

Back to the Garden, and Forward (Parshat Bereishit, Genesis 1:1-1:8)

Rabbi Arthur Green | Posted 10.08.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Green

The holiday season has come and gone. Moses has ascended Mount Nebo, looked across the Jordan, and suddenly the world is created all over again. Here we are, back at Genesis 1:1, "in the beginning."

Pope Francis's Hollow Rhetoric On Place of LGBTQ People in the Church

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 10.09.2015 | Religion
Warren J. Blumenfeld

Rather than requiring women to ask it for forgiveness, the Vatican needs, instead, to ask those of us whom it has repressed and oppressed for forgiveness of its sins throughout its existence.

Pope Francis US Visit: Love and Joy Trump Rules (Mark 10: 2-18)

Sr. Simone Campbell | Posted 10.05.2015 | Religion
Sr. Simone Campbell

Pope Francis, like Jesus, responds to the children. Pope Francis literally lit up every time he was in proximity to children. One story really touched my heart. I talked with Seanta who was visiting Philadelphia from South Carolina for the meeting on the family.

14 Comforting Verses To Help You You Through The Hard Times

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 10.01.2015 | Religion

One of the most beautiful aspects of faith is its ability to give people a deep well of strength to sip from when they're sad, lonely, or discouraged....

Between Fragility and Protection (Chol haMoed Sukkot: Exodus 33:12-34:26)

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg | Posted 09.30.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg

My father-in-law was a warm-hearted man who took each day with good cheer and had a smile for everyone. The family therefore chose as the inscription on his grave, "Enjoy life for it is the gift of God."

Domestic Violence: Are the Children Safe? (Mark 10: 2-16)

Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery | Posted 09.28.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery

There is brokenness -- broken bodies and relationships -- so it is of no surprise per se when we see Jesus and the Pharisees engage in a conversation about marriage and divorce, topics that may heighten our awareness of human brokenness in our society.

Commandments of Love

Paul N. Anderson | Posted 09.23.2015 | Religion
Paul N. Anderson

The Ten Commandments, given to Moses by God for the children of Israel to follow, are not primarily religious. Their concern is largely social, rooted in love, and all of them are relational in their thrust. Four Commandments address the human-divine relationship; six of them address human-to-human relationships.

Inhabiting Vulnerability (Parshat Ha'azinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52)

Rabbi Adina Allen | Posted 09.23.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Adina Allen

This week's Torah reading, Parshat Ha'azinu, ends with this devastating reminder to Moses that despite having led the people out of Egypt and through the trials and tribulations of wilderness for 40 years, he will not be allowed to enter the Promised Land.

Pope Francis Visits US: Greed Is Your Fatal Flaw (Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22)

Amy Erickson | Posted 09.21.2015 | Religion
Amy Erickson

During his visit to Bolivia in July, the Pope addressed an audience of farmers, trash-pickers, craftspeople, and un-unionized workers. He expressed his compassion for the poor and the marginalized and advocated passionately for them, but he did not stop there.

The Beautiful Red Type That Captured My Heart

Catherine Nagle | Posted 09.21.2015 | Religion
Catherine Nagle

I am an avid reader of most everything spiritual in search for a clearer message for the broken-hearted, including my own. My intentions are dev...

Write Your Own Song (Parshat Vayelech 31:1-30)

Rabbi Minna Bromberg | Posted 09.16.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Minna Bromberg

As we prepare for Yom Kippur we can take seriously the mitzvah of writing our own Torah, our own song. We can reconstitute the many words on the page with the breath of our lungs, the deepest stories of our hearts, and the truest actions of our lives.

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Our Chance to See God (Mark 9:30-37)

Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson | Posted 09.14.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson

Because of the extreme anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment so pervasive in today's media, we must think not only about a governmental immigration policy, we must also think about and pray for a spiritual principle of welcome.