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Jerusalem's New Museum Reveals Untold History

Natasha Srdoc | Posted 10.12.2015 | World
Natasha Srdoc

On September 8, 2015, Shimon Perez, Israel's former president, prime minister and Noble Peace Prize winner delivered an address to leaders from within Israel, and dignitaries and guests from around the world attending the official opening of Jerusalem's newest museum, the Friends of Zion Heritage Center.

On Capital Punishment, SCOTUS Is Behind The Times -- And The Talmud

Avraham Bronstein | Posted 10.07.2015 | Religion
Avraham Bronstein

Justices Scalia and Alito argued that the death penalty must be constitutional. But Justices Breyer and Ginsburg countered that, as currently practiced, the death penalty in its totality may likely be cruel, unusual, and wholly unconstitutional.

A Woman Among the Tombstones: Yaelle Kayam Talks About Mountain

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 09.19.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Premiering in the Orizzonti section at this year's Venice Film Festival, Yaelle Kayam's Mountain was one of the films that impressed me the most. I use that exact word because Mountain left both an impression on me and, as the Italians use the word "impressione" literally, it shocked, struck and shook me, profoundly.

To Be a Thorn in the Side

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson | Posted 06.23.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson

A reminder never to be silent in the face of injustice and hopelessness; never to be resigned to a status quo that accepts a widening gap between rich and poor, black and white, and too many atrocities like this one in Charleston.

Becoming Neighbors: A Jewish Vision of Social Justice

Rabbi Menachem Creditor | Posted 06.08.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

For those who dedicate their lives to pursuing justice, every moment is urgent. As the great Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel famously taught, there is simply "no time for neutrality."

Rothko's Jewish Influences?

Alan Elsner | Posted 05.26.2015 | Books
Alan Elsner

What is it that gives the paintings of Mark Rothko their tremendous power? Why do those squares of vibrating color, that seem to float in space, somehow liberated from their canvases, exert such fascination?

Shared Resources and Expectations

Joel Tauber | Posted 04.20.2015 | Money
Joel Tauber

I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community in Boston that felt both nurturing and stifling. If anyone in the community struggled financially, they knew that tzedeka (or charity) would be raised to sustain them

Bridging Jewish Generations

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 01.11.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

Millennial Jews are not joining synagogues at the same rate as their parents and certainly not at the same rate as their grandparents. Many Jewish leaders are struggling to understand this new generation, which will have a profound impact on the future of Jewish life in America.

What Jewish Millennials Want

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 01.06.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

We are creatures of expression living in an age of expression. We are deluged daily with information and opinion, with pundits and preachers proffering perspective.

Gone With the Wind: Sukkot

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 12.07.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Why do we head outside on Sukkot so soon after Yom Kippur?

Why You Can't Build a Religious Symbol on a Camel's Back (and Why You Should Care)

Dr. Joel Hoffman | Posted 12.07.2014 | Religion
Dr. Joel Hoffman

The Talmud is one of Judaism's primary defining works. Why does it engage in such apparent whimsy alongside weightier and better-known matters like human dignity and God's role in our lives?

Autumn Equinox: The Day of Peace and Relationships

Gahl Eden Sasson | Posted 11.23.2014 | Religion
Gahl Eden Sasson

Today is the Equinox! The Sun transits from Virgo into Libra, initiating Autumn (in the Northern hemisphere). You might not even know it, but most likely you felt it somewhere in your body, mind, and/or soul.

Yom Kippur: What About That Other Book?

Carol Orsborn | Posted 11.22.2014 | Religion
Carol Orsborn

Imagine this: One instant ago, your body had weight and heat and heartbeat. And then, with one final long breath, all that is truly you rises like carbon bubbles of light, pressed to the ceiling.

The Prisoner Can Not Release Himself From Prison: Thoughts on the Passing of Robin Williams

Rabbi Michael Bernstein | Posted 10.15.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Michael Bernstein

While death may be undiscovered country, it is life that is the true mystery worth exploring. And for all the voices that Robin Williams used, it was his presence, not his words, that was the key to the lesson.

One Broken People to Another

Rabbi David Seidenberg | Posted 09.29.2014 | Religion
Rabbi David Seidenberg

What is justice, and what is vengeance?

Heart-Breaking Truths About Gaza and Israel

Rabbi Joseph Meszler | Posted 09.24.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Joseph Meszler

As I sit in my comfortable home in Massachusetts, rockets are being fired from Gaza at my nephew in Israel. He is the son of an Israeli, an almost-flu...

The "Eye For An Eye" Fallacy

Rabbi Adam Jacobs | Posted 08.31.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Adam Jacobs

Though it sounds more like the name of a cartoon villain, Lex Talionis (the Law of Retribution) is the Latin name for the Jewish concept of an "eye for an eye." Sadly, many false conclusions about Judaism and its morality have emerged from the general misunderstanding of this important principle.

In Pursuit of True Happiness

Naphtali Hoff | Posted 04.05.2014 | Healthy Living
Naphtali Hoff

We all wish to be happy. We seek material bounty, fulfilling relationships, peace and a connection with nature. But we know that there's another, deeper aspect to happiness, one that scientists cannot measure. It is the fulfillment of our calling and mission, giving us the deep satisfaction that our time here on earth was most fulfilling, for us and those who we impacted.

Thanksgivukkah Foretold in Talmud Over 2000 Years Ago

Salvador Litvak | Posted 01.27.2014 | Religion
Salvador Litvak

In our house, we'd like to cut out the presents entirely, but we don't want our kids to associate being Jewish with getting ripped off, so we compromise with books.

Teaching by Modeling: Living With Inspiration

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz | Posted 11.24.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

We can preach and teach all day long but if we don't live those values there will be no power of influence. Transformative education happens through mentorship and a life of modeled virtue.

The Ten Commandments of Talking to Friends in Mourning

Rabbi Michael Knopf | Posted 11.12.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Michael Knopf

These are not the only rules, and you might discover good rules to supplement this list. You might also find that pieces of this list do not work for you. I hope you'll share your thoughts for additions or subtractions in the comments.

How I Became the Accidental Talmudist

Salvador Litvak | Posted 11.04.2013 | Religion
Salvador Litvak

Who am I to call myself a Talmudist of any sort? Our Sages of blessed memory were not just gifted teachers, they were also tzaddiks -- righteous individuals who could be counted upon to do the right thing always, and to treat everyone with kindness.

Ben Affleck, Batman and Us: A Spiritual Reflection on the Backlash

Rabbi Michael Knopf | Posted 10.30.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Michael Knopf

What would our lives and our world look like if we became more open to each other's stories and each other's interpretations? What if we accepted multiple ways of viewing even those narratives and myths about which we feel most passionate, or with which we most vehemently disagree?

Some Say You Should Teach a Child to Swim

Jennifer Meer | Posted 10.20.2013 | Parents
Jennifer Meer

It was one of those moments when I saw my kids. I mean really saw them. They weren't babies. They weren't just keeping themselves afloat. They were really swimming. They were scanning the pool for my approval and thumbs up, not for my arms to encircle them and hold them up.

Property Rights and Wrongs in Deuteronomy

Howard J. Curzer | Posted 10.14.2013 | Religion
Howard J. Curzer

Some people say that when you pay taxes -- income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc. -- you are giving your money to the government. Many resent this; some even consider it illegitimate. But this is a mistake.