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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 Torat Emet 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

They Died Too Young But Their Spirits Live

(5) Comments | Posted March 21, 2016 | 11:13 AM

The picture of a youthful, healthy, energetic American man with a dark trim beard sent chills up my spine. Taylor Force, a 29-year-old American visiting Israel, was stabbed to death in Jaffa on March 8 amidst a wave of three separate terror attacks around Israel that day in...

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Fears, Goals and Trade-offs: The Makings of a Meaningful Conversation

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 10:22 AM

There's a story about a man who hoped for his whole life to be in the movies. Years went by, but he never had his chance. Finally, a film crew came to town, and they were looking for extras to appear in a Civil War picture. The director gave him...

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Shavuot, Memorial Day and My Link to V-E Day

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 1:11 PM

This year, America's observance of Memorial Day coincides with the second day of the Jewish festival of Shavuot when we say Yizkor, the memorial prayers in memory of our departed loved ones. We think of them now as on other holidays since they are not physically...

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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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