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Scripture

Hope and Despair (Masei, Numbers 33:1-36:13)

Rabbi Daniel Klein | Posted 07.24.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Daniel Klein

In a seemingly simple, but profound manner, the Torah portion of Masei challenges us to live between hope and despair, paying careful attention to the possibilities of the present moment, while laying the foundation for the future.

Hope and Despair (Masei, Numbers 33:1-36:13)

Rabbi Daniel Klein | Posted 07.24.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Daniel Klein

In a seemingly simple, but profound manner, the Torah portion of Masei challenges us to live between hope and despair, paying careful attention to the possibilities of the present moment, while laying the foundation for the future.

Hope and Despair (Masei, Numbers 33:1-36:13)

Rabbi Daniel Klein | Posted 07.24.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Daniel Klein

In a seemingly simple, but profound manner, the Torah portion of Masei challenges us to live between hope and despair, paying careful attention to the possibilities of the present moment, while laying the foundation for the future.

More Than Conquerors: Romans 8:26-39 and Disability

Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles | Posted 07.21.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles

Gus, who overtly expresses room for belief in God, bites it at age 18, leaving his moribund girlfriend and freshly blind friend to mourn in the wake of his death. Is this what "all things working together for good" looks like from God's perspective?

Promises on a Bumpy Road (Mattot, Numbers 30:2-32:42)

Rabbi Minna Bromberg | Posted 07.17.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Minna Bromberg

Here in parashat Mattot, the Israelites are already encamped on the Plains of Moab, having finished their 40 years of wandering in the desert. Soon they will spend the length of the Book of Deuteronomy listening to Moses give them final instructions.

Do You Know How to Two Step?

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder | Posted 07.15.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder

This "dancing" is a cognitive, spiritual and social dissonance enveloping and guiding our lives. Such a constant state of flux, although unsettling, provides ample lessons on recovery, repentance and resilience.

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

Rabbi Joshua Ratner | Posted 07.14.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Ratner

How can we, as humane, 21st century Jews, make sense of this embrace of violent religious zealotry? Further, can we both denounce contemporary manifestations of this religious zeal while holding fast to Parashat Pinhas as part of the Torah we so venerate?

Models of Prophecy (Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9)

Rabbi Herzl Hefter | Posted 07.02.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Like the great prophet, we must always remain humble in our spiritual pursuits, knowing our limitations and recognizing the possibility of learning from all those created in the divine image.

At War With Ourselves

Greg Carey | Posted 07.01.2014 | Religion
Greg Carey

Paul's examination of the conflicted self stands as one of the classic statements in Western culture. Borrowing from Jesus, we often say something similar: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Why I Pray

Catherine Nagle | Posted 06.27.2014 | Religion
Catherine Nagle

I once read somewhere that repeating a prayer is nothing more than parroting words. However, I have come to understand and feel a certainty of the cleansing of my soul through repeated prayer, just as my beloved aunt did.

We Do Not Live by Reason Alone (Chukat, Numbers 19:1-22:1)

Rabbi Amy Eilberg | Posted 07.02.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Amy Eilberg

I do not understand the law of the red heifer, but since the Temple is no more, I need not observe it. I do, however, believe deeply in prayer for peace, even though I cannot know how it might work. I pray every day for peace to come and I hope that you do too.

Sacrificing Our Sons and Daughters (Genesis 22: 1-14)

Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson | Posted 06.23.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson

Abraham -- the father of Jews, Christians and Muslims -- is heralded for his willingness to sacrifice, to give up his son, Isaac. After all, to love God so much to be willing to give back to God that which you have longed for, prayed for and cared for is no easy matter.

From the Trenches of the War of Ideas (Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32)

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Posted 06.18.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Mishael Zion

Instead of seeking to push our opponents down into the bowels of the earth, we must hold onto two truths at once: that we must fight for what we believe in, without losing respect for those on the other side. That is the only fitting way if we seek to live a life of virtue and integrity.

Slavery, Surrogacy and Society: Making a Future in the Wilderness

Anathea Portier-Young | Posted 06.30.2014 | Religion
Anathea Portier-Young

Unfortunately, slavery is hardly new. It is at the heart of Israel's founding story. The Exodus story showcases Israel's liberation from forced labor in Egypt. Hagar's story shows us slavery in a less visible form and closer to 'home.'

The Divine Presence in Time and Space (Shlach, Numbers 13:1-15:41)

Rabbi Lawrence Troster | Posted 06.10.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Lawrence Troster

Their idea of God is a divinity limited in time and space. God gets fed up at the peoples' continued lack of faith and tells Moses that it is time to destroy them and start again with Moses as a second Abraham.

Developing a Moral Vision for Climate Change: Overview of the Planet

Ingrid Lilly | Posted 06.09.2014 | Religion
Ingrid Lilly

If we could zoom in on Genesis 1, perhaps we could extend its vision of the morality of the spatial: Sea is for fish and sky is for birds and coral reefs are for urchins. Deep sea trenches are for bioluminescent fish. Arctic ice sheets are for polar bears.

Strutting With the Spirit: A Proposal for Pentecost

Jack Levison | Posted 06.06.2014 | Religion
Jack Levison

However we preach, whatever we teach, whenever we speak, we should be prepared. How? Through a life of study, the practice of learning, even the discipline of memorizing.

A Letter from the "Dying" Church

Rev. Emily C. Heath | Posted 06.04.2014 | Religion
Rev. Emily C. Heath

To my mourners: Sometimes the dying are the first to know. While others believe you are invincible, you quietly go around collecting pamphlets from h...

Shavuot: Divine Light and Earthly Vessels

Rabbi Or Rose | Posted 06.03.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Or Rose

In preparing for the celebration of the holiday of Shavuot -- "the time of the giving of Torah," as it is referred to in countless rabbinic sources -- I have been reflecting on a striking teaching from the great Hasidic sage Rabbi Levi Isaac of Berditchev.

The First Multi-Media Blowup Moment (Acts 2:1-21)

Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D. | Posted 06.02.2014 | Religion
Karyn L. Wiseman, Ph.D.

We hear loud voices coming through social media outlets. We hear the noise. At times, it is almost deafening. The voices seem to fly past each other so fast that neither side seems to be listening to the other at all.

Overhearing God's Voice (Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89)

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg | Posted 05.27.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg

If we seek no special revelation and do not expect to be addressed exclusively with particular instructions, we can hear its meditations everywhere, the heart and essence of being, and, if we so choose, understand them as God's sacred voice

Christian Suffering in a World of Suffering

David A. Sánchez, Ph.D. | Posted 05.27.2014 | Religion
David A. Sánchez, Ph.D.

Here I write pondering the exaltation of suffering in Christian scripture as a sign of future heavenly exaltation. What do I say to sufferers of other faith traditions? My suffering, our Christian suffering, is privileged?

The Numbers of Those Who Wandered in the Wilderness (Be-Midbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20)

Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Ph.D. | Posted 07.22.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Ph.D.

As we count the days toward Shavout, the time of receiving the Torah, a time when we stay up all night studying Torah, it behooves all Jews to wrestle with the words of Shavit and Burg as we seek to embody a Torah of empathy.

Stand by Me: Memorial Day and the Healing of Souls

Mary Hinkle Shore | Posted 07.19.2014 | Religion
Mary Hinkle Shore

Jesus loses his life, and he is not the only one to suffer loss. Those he leaves behind lose him, and without him, they lose whatever security they might have felt in the world. After his death, they take refuge by hiding.

Environmental Justice and the "Science" of Denial

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 07.15.2014 | Green
Warren J. Blumenfeld

I ask, though, how "free" are we now as mining, oil and lumber companies lobby to exploit the land, and as legislators grant corporations enormous tax breaks and subsidies?