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Rabbi Edward Bernstein
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Rabbi Edward C. Bernstein was ordained in 1999 by the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. He serves as Spiritual Leader of Temple Torah in Boynton Beach, FL. He is a Fellow in the Greenfaith Fellows Program, a comprehensive program to prepare lay and ordained leaders from diverse religious traditions for religiously based environmental leadership. He also serves on the Social Justice Commission of the International Rabbinical Assembly.

Entries by Rabbi Edward Bernstein

Returning to Jaffa Road

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 12:08 PM

The last time I saw my friend Matt Eisenfeld was bright and early on Thursday morning, February 22, 1996. We were studying in Jerusalem for our rabbinical school year in Israel. I had finished my morning davening, eaten a light breakfast, and packed my backpack, ready to spend the day...

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Just One More Song: Raising Awareness of Suicide on Yom Kippur

(2) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 10:48 AM

One evening a Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle going on inside him: "My son, it is between two wolves. One is evil: anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is good: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity,...

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A Call to PCUSA to Reject Zionism Unsettled

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 9:16 AM

A very problematic document was published in February by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The document, entitled Zionism Unsettled, includes a number of items that not only show a biased hostility toward the State of Israel but also against Judaism and the Jewish people. The Jewish...

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They Were Both Right: How Israeli Society Needed Both Sharon and Aloni

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 6:32 PM

It's been said that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. In the aftermath of World War II and the Shoah, the Jewish people were in the depths of our worst crisis. We had lost 6 million people and faced an uphill battle in establishing a Jewish state in...

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Writing the Next Act of Our Lives on Yom Kippur

(0) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 11:47 AM

I recently discovered some lost treasures. My late grandfather, Sam Lesner, of blessed memory, came back to life after 23 years when I heard his voice once again after finding and digitizing some old cassette tapes. My Grandpa Sam was the film and entertainment critic of the former Chicago Daily...

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Seeking the Growth Mindset on the Jewish New Year

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 1:19 PM

One of the great joys of parenting is reading bedtime stories. My two boys have outgrown bedtime stories, so, we're left with our four-and-a-half-year-old daughter for this truly sacred task. I grew up as one of three brothers, and then our first two children were boys. So, now, for the...

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Israel's Shining Light in a World of Indifference

(28) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 3:22 PM

One of Elie Wiesel's most eloquent, prophetic statements is: "The opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference."

In following current events, there is a hardly any place on earth where the world as a whole has shown more indifference than Syria. The tragedy of the civil war...

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

(1) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 2:53 PM

My children enjoy a good superhero film, as do I. The magnetic appeal that superheroes have on pop-culture may be best summed up by Spider Man's Uncle Ben. In his dying breath told his powerful nephew, "With great power comes great responsibility." There are many claims as to the source...

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The Torah's Call for a Culture of Giving

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2013 | 11:49 PM

There's a story about a child who asks his father a question. "Can you explain to me what a conscience problem is?" he asks. The father replies: "I'll give you an example. If a customer comes into my store and buys something for one dollar, and by mistake gives me...

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From Affliction to Joy on Facebook

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 10:34 AM

The dual Torah portions of Tazria and Metzora pose a challenge every year to rabbis and teachers. How are we to make sense of skin diseases and "icky," moldy stuff in houses and on clothes that Kohanim (priests) are called upon to diagnose and cleanse? How can we possibly apply...

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The Pope and the Rabbi: Different Perspectives on Humility

(3) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 10:16 AM

There's an old story about the pope and the Jews. Several centuries ago, thepPope decreed that all the Jews had to convert to Catholicism or leave Italy. There was a huge outcry from the Jewish community, so the pope offered a deal: He'd have a religious debate with the leader...

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Create, Bless, Rest: Discovering the Symphony of Life on Shemini Atzeret

(17) Comments | Posted October 7, 2012 | 11:31 AM

Joshua Bell is one of the world's most accomplished violinists. He has played with the world's most renowned orchestras and now is a conductor as well. He performs in the world's finest concert halls and often commands hundreds of dollars per ticket. About five years ago, he participated in...

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Taking on the Food Stamp Challenge: Answering Isaiah's Call to Social Justice on Yom Kippur

(7) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 10:45 AM

The 18th century Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin said: "If you want to raise a person from mud, do not think it is enough to keep standing on top and reaching a helping hand down to the person. You must go all the way down yourself, down into mud. Then take...

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Blessings Triumph Over Curses in Israel

(22) Comments | Posted July 5, 2012 | 6:58 PM

If Dr. Itzhak Haviv, an oncologist at Bar Ilan University ever wins the Nobel Prize for Medicine, I can say I met him way back when. I can say the same thing for Dr. Hanna Alonim, Director of the Mifne Center for the Early Intervention in the Treatment...

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Korach and the Abuse of Power

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 10:52 AM

I'm sure many of us can reach back into the deepest recesses of our memories and identify the first news story that we were aware of. For some it might have been Pearl Harbor, the founding of the State of Israel, the Kennedy assassination or man walking on the moon....

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Teaching Our Children the Ethics of Eating Meat

(31) Comments | Posted April 25, 2012 | 5:02 PM

Recently, Ariel Kaminer in her New York Times column "The Ethicist" announced a contest calling on readers to state -- in 600 words or less -- why it is ethical to eat meat. Thousands of entries were submitted, and the works of six finalists were posted online last...

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The Torah's Case for Responsibility

(7) Comments | Posted April 20, 2012 | 1:23 PM

There's a story about a child who asked his father the question: "Can you explain to me what a conscience problem is?" The father replied, "I'll give you an example. If a customer comes into my store and buys something for $1, and by mistake gives me $3, I suddenly...

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Following the Path to Redemption -- One Small Step at a Time

(1) Comments | Posted April 16, 2012 | 11:33 AM

When Cecil B. Demille made the film "The Ten Commandments," it might have made more sense calling the film "The Exodus." Afterall, the bulk of the film centers on the Exodus experience. In fact, on the Universal Studios tour, they don't show you God inscribing the tablets on Mt. Sinai....

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Is Peter Beinart the 'Wicked Son'?

(3) Comments | Posted April 11, 2012 | 2:01 PM

The following is adapted from a Passover sermon Rabbi Bernstein delivered at his congregation on April 7, 2012.

In Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," there is the following exchange between Alice and the Duchess:

"Thinking again?" the Duchess asked, with another dig of her sharp little chin....

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Passover Is a Time to Renew Jewish-African American Common Cause

(10) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 12:20 PM

The following are derived from remarks delivered by Rabbi Bernstein at an Interfaith Unity Seder convened by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Palm Beach County, Florida, on March 29. The seder included members of Rabbi Bernstein's congregation, Temple Torah of Boynton Beach, Fla., and members of St. Paul's Missionary...

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