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Scripture

More Than One Thing: Purim and Reflections of the Image of God (Parshat Ki Tissa, Exodus 30:11 - 34:35 ; Purim, March 4-5)

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld | Posted 03.04.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Megillat Esther, which we read on the holiday of Purim this week, is a flamboyant, even farcical tale of good and evil. Its characters on the face of it are caricatures of human virtue and vice: Achashueras the foolish king who sits on the throne but exercises no true leadership or authority.

The Sacrifice of Covenant Relationship (Exodus 20:1-17)

Kimberly D. Russaw | Posted 03.02.2015 | Religion
Kimberly D. Russaw

On any given Saturday, people join Habitat for Humanity teams and commit to work to help eradicate poverty housing. The individual volunteers give of their time, energy and physical ability because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Remembering the Future: Memories of the Heart (Parashat Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10/Shabbat Zachor)

Reb Mimi Feigelson | Posted 02.25.2015 | Religion
Reb Mimi Feigelson

This Shabbat, the weekly Torah portion embraces the consecration of the priesthood to God, and the special designated Torah reading for the Shabbat prior to Purim, known as Shabbat Zachor, commands us to remember/not forget our encounter with Amalek, who sought to destroy us.

From Generation to Generation (Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16)

Rev. Adam J. Copeland | Posted 02.23.2015 | Religion
Rev. Adam J. Copeland

What would happen this Lent if we reflected not just personally but corporately? Quickly, we'd be pushed to consider how our use of the earth's resources will make life exceedingly difficult for future generations.

Compulsory Love: What the Building of the Tabernacle Can Teach Us About Valentine's Day (Parshat Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19)

Rabbi Joshua Ratner | Posted 02.18.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Ratner

The main reason I resist it is that I reject the very premise of the holiday: choosing an arbitrary time for the compulsory enunciation and celebration of love. After all, do I love my spouse, my mother, and other family members any more on February 14 than I do the other days of the year?

ISIS, American Sniper, and Rainbows (Genesis 9:8-17)

Greg Carey | Posted 02.17.2015 | Religion
Greg Carey

Horrific as ISIS may be, it by no means stands outside the circle of humanity. It seems to have arisen and found nourishment out of countless factors, including the interventions of our own government. Violence has a way of pulling us all in. Somewhere the cycle has to end.

In Rejecting Measles Vaccination Are You Defying God's Will?

Bernard Starr | Posted 02.12.2015 | Religion
Bernard Starr

If one believes in the doctrine of creationism--that God created man--one should also embrace its corollary: that God's creation of humans includes the manifestation of human intelligence to improve life on this planet.

Is Law a Kind of Love? (Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1 - 24:18)

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 02.11.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

This week's Torah portion, Mishpatim, comes on the heels of the Ten Commandments and begins delving into more detailed prescriptions for our actions. In some cases, its behavioral requirements seem immediately accessible and relevant.

Forsaking the 'Whiteness' of the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9)

Rev. Keith Anderson | Posted 02.09.2015 | Religion
Rev. Keith Anderson

In a time when renewed engagement is desperately needed, it is difficult to have dialogue when a vast majority of whites cannot empathize with the experience of communities of color, or, in some cases, acknowledge that there is a problem at all.

Learning From the Friendly Outsider (Parshat Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23)

Rabbi Arthur Green | Posted 02.05.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Green

What I have to say next applies to both Jews and Muslims; I say it to both. You live inside a bigger world. Not everyone is your enemy. There are plenty of Midianites out there, outsiders to your particularity, who wish you well.

Why We Know So Little About Moses and Jesus

Bernard Starr | Posted 02.04.2015 | Religion
Bernard Starr

The dearth of information about the formative influences on towering biblical figures such as Moses and Jesus has invited some skeptics to question whether they actually existed.

Gatekeepers of Redemption: Conservative Evangelicals on the Death Penalty (1 Corinthians 9:16-23)

Shanell T. Smith | Posted 02.02.2015 | Religion
Shanell T. Smith

'Gatekeepers of redemption' -- that is what I call them -- are the decision makers in capital punishment. Yet as I think about the death penalty movement and the shift that seems to be occurring within it, I am beginning to see an inkling of hope.

Religion and the Enemy (Parshat B'Shalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16)

Rabbi Amy Eilberg | Posted 01.29.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Common wisdom has it that much violence in the world is driven by religious passion. Though there is good reason for this claim, deeper reflection reveals a more complex picture of what religions have to say about relationships with the enemy.

The Super Bowl and the Church in a Culture of Dominance (1 Corinthians 8:1-13)

Matthew L. Skinner | Posted 01.26.2015 | Religion
Matthew L. Skinner

Americans enjoy football because football reflects the values of strength, courage, strategy, self-discipline, teamwork, and celebrity that American culture holds dear. It's also refreshing to watch someone else get crushed by a 260-pound linebacker after you've had a lousy week at work.

Power, Oppression and the Hardened Heart (Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16)

Rabbi Adina Allen | Posted 01.21.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Adina Allen

The hardening of Pharaoh's heart is one of the most confusing aspects of the Exodus story, but has perhaps the most to teach us about freedom and oppression in our world today.

Free Speech, Big Fish, and Calls From God (Jonah 3: 1-5, 10)

Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D. | Posted 01.20.2015 | Religion
Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D.

I am not Charlie Hebdo. I know that I am not Charlie. I do not think that I would ever intentionally make fun of a faith tradition or belief system, except maybe my own. But, dangit, I will defend their right to do so.

In the Name of God: The Possibility of Passion and Tolerance (Parshat Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35)

Rabbi Herzl Hefter | Posted 01.13.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Herzl Hefter

R. Simcha Bunim of Przysucha (1765-1827), one of the great Hasidic masters in Poland, explained it by breaking it into two parts. The letter shin is a prefix meaning "that", and "dai" means "enough". She dai would mean, "that [which] is sufficient."

Maybe God's Trying to Tell You Something (1 Samuel 3:1-20)

Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. | Posted 01.21.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr.

In trying times, it is important to listen for the lesson and hear the voice of God within it. The task for those of us who are attracted to such thoughts is not to see God in our stories but to imagine our story in God's, learning somehow to see our humanity in divinity.

These Are My Names (Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1)

Rabbi Minna Bromberg | Posted 01.07.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Minna Bromberg

We cannot always control what we lose or gain in life's transitions, and even the happiest transitions (like getting married or becoming parents) can be jarring. I don't always get to choose how my name will be spelled or said. But sometimes, I get to choose how I will hear it.

In the Beginning and in the End: Christians and Climate Change (Genesis 1:1-5)

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 01.05.2015 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

The threat of climate change and the pollution of our natural resources is a theological problem. In our efforts to enhance our comfort and ease our work, we have mistaken what is good with what is merely advantageous for a narrowly circumscribed us.

Other Stories, Others' Stories (Parshat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28 - 50:26)

Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer | Posted 03.04.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer

This November, I attended the first annual conference of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. Afterwards, I posted on my Facebook page a picture of 100 Jewish and Muslim women--old and young; bareheaded, hijabi, and a few in yarmulkes.

A World of Hope and Disappointment (John 1:1-18)

Greg Carey | Posted 02.28.2015 | Religion
Greg Carey

Disappointment is inevitable when things don't go as we think they should. But outrage? We can do something about outrage. John's prologue invites us to another way. These verses do not deny disappointment. They respond to disappointment with testimony.

The Bible App Reveals Its Most Popular Verses Of 2014

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 12.29.2014 | Religion

The Bible App has been downloaded more than 162 million times, according to the app's creator, YouVersion. And unlike the print version of the immense...

The Plague of Survivalism (Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27)

Rabbi Niles Elliot Goldstein | Posted 02.22.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Niles Elliot Goldstein

In the Torah portion for this week (Vayigash), Joseph, having grown in power and influence in Egypt after his brothers left him for dead in the desert many years before, now reveals his true identity to his assembled siblings.

Protest and God's Presence (Isaiah 61:10-62:3)

Brian Bantum | Posted 02.21.2015 | Religion
Brian Bantum

While every year is filled with its triumphs and its terrors, 2014 has been a year that has felt particularly fraught. It is not because this is a year where evil and terror appeared from nowhere, surprising us in our general euphoria or mundane lives.