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Scripture

On the Just Use of Force by Our Police (Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9)

Rabbi Daniel Lehmann | Posted 08.28.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Daniel Lehmann

The tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has focused the nation's attention once again on issues of justice related to the use of fatal force by police, especially against unarmed black men.

God Hears the Cries of #Ferguson: A Burning Bush and a World on Fire

Rev. Keith Anderson | Posted 08.25.2014 | Religion
Rev. Keith Anderson

Today, God hears the cries of those in Ferguson and all who are oppressed. As in the story of the burning bush, God sees, hears, and knows their pain. God also acts in the face of injustice and demands the end of oppression.

Where Hope Takes Root

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz | Posted 08.22.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz

Deuteronomy calls us to let our land lie fallow in the seventh year, to break from planting and harvesting, and to let go of debts -- a sabbatical (shmita) year. Is this the summer storm before a season of joy and bounty, happiness and equity?

Sweaty Spirituality: Fighting Obesity With Paul (Romans 12:1-8)

Jacob D. Myers | Posted 08.27.2014 | Religion
Jacob D. Myers

Why aren't we in the church leading this charge? Ought not we who have received the grace of God to participate in God's restorative work live out our devotion to God by our healthy lifestyles?

Divine-Human Partnership (Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12 - 11:25)

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg | Posted 08.14.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg

It's hard to know which should make us more afraid: the notion that the human being or God is the absolute master of history. It is difficult to decide in the name of which of these attitudes more blood has been spilled, or which is more likely to destroy the world first.

Acknowledging Our Divine Positioning (Genesis 45:1-15)

Kimberly D. Russaw | Posted 08.12.2014 | Religion
Kimberly D. Russaw

Joseph's is a story of family strife, forgiveness, reconciliation, providence, provision and humility. After two encounters with their brother (who has assumed an Egyptian name and remained incognito), Joseph's brothers return to Egypt seeking pardon from the Pharaoh's vizier.

Beyond Tragedy and Despair: Emerging From Tisha b'Av (Isaiah 40:1-26)

Rabbi Jill Jacobs | Posted 08.05.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Jill Jacobs

If we succeed in building these roads, "the presence of God will appear" (Isaiah 40:5). Emerging from the tragedy of this war, we can -- and we must -- focus on creating the paths that will allow the divine presence to return.

Our Dysfunctional Families (Genesis 37: 1-4, 12-28)

Rev. David Lewicki | Posted 08.04.2014 | Religion
Rev. David Lewicki

Joseph wears his privilege too proudly. Oblivious to the fact that his older brothers despise him, he shares with them two vivid dreams. In each, the world revolves around Joseph -- the world bows down to serve him.

Don't Weaponize Your Words (Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22)

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 07.30.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

Too often, we draw a false distinction between words and deeds, underestimating the impact that words can have on our souls and communities. We presume harsh words to be fair game online, in the mysterious ether of "virtual" interaction.

Could 'Loaves and Fishes' Change the Immigration Dilemma? (Matthew 14:13-21)

Verity A. Jones | Posted 07.29.2014 | Religion
Verity A. Jones

I am grateful for the religious leaders around the nation who are calling elected officials from towns and cities to our nation's capital to put on a different set of glasses and see something in this terrible situation other than scarcity.

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 08.27.2014 | 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 08.24.2014 | 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 08.23.2014 | 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 08.18.2014 | 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 08.16.2014 | 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 08.10.2014 | 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.