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Rabbi Joshua Ratner
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Joshua Ratner is director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New Haven, and Associate Rabbi and Engagement Director at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale.

Entries by Rabbi Joshua Ratner

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

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 10:04 PM

I have a fraught relationship with Valentine's Day. Perhaps this is because I cringe, as a Jew, at observing what was first a pagan and later a Christian holiday -- Valentine's Day originated from a pagan mid-February fertility celebration called Lupercalia and was transformed into St. Valentine's Day by...

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Religious Zealotry, Then and Now (Pinhas, Numbers 25:10-30:1)

(3) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 10:58 AM

Hot-blooded anger. Self-righteousness. Unflinching certainty. Extreme measures. These are some of the hallmarks of violent religious zealotry. We see its vicious resurgence all over the world today: The headlines from Iraq, Syria and much of the Middle East are filled with Islamist jihad, as Sunnis slaughter Shiites and vice versa;...

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Exodus 25:1-27:19: Where Can We Find God?

(693) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 4:22 PM

Gold, silver and onyx, rich woods and brilliant dyes of purple, red and blue... This week's Torah portion, Terumah, is filled with dazzling imagery about the construction of the mikdash, the portable sanctuary which would accompany the Israelites in the wilderness.

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