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Torah

'We Are All Noah Now' (Noah, Genesis 6:9-11:32)'

Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman | Posted 10.21.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman

In order for there to be a second Creation, the first one is undone: The skies darken to hide the light, the waters come together to cover the land, the plants and animals -- except for those lucky enough to be on the ark -- perish.

Returning to Jaffa Road

Rabbi Edward Bernstein | Posted 10.17.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Edward Bernstein

I lived through and observed this saga up close and have always been inspired by the strength and courage of Len and Vicki Eisenfeld and Arline Duker.

Others, Brothers

Jeremy Benstein, Ph.D. | Posted 10.15.2014 | Religion
Jeremy Benstein, Ph.D.

We have parents, spouses, teachers, critics, publicists and therapists. And most important, we have each other, to be supportively critical, and to help us ask ourselves the really hard and thus the really important questions.

Should Jewish Girls Be Allowed To Read Torah At The Western Wall?

Religion News Service | Michele Chabin | Posted 10.13.2014 | Religion

JERUSALEM (RNS) A new bus ad campaign promoting the right of girls to celebrate their bat mitzvah at the Western Wall is the latest push by the femini...

Sukkot: Staying a Little Bit Longer

Rabbi Arthur Green | Posted 10.08.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Green

My sukkah, is up. A few of my students came by today, pulled the old wooden frame with its lattice-work sides out of the garage, and put it together. The whole construction job took about 15 minutes, but created a moment of great significance and joy.

Wake Up to a New Year: A Yom Kippur Reflection

Rabbi David Jaffe | Posted 10.06.2014 | Religion
Rabbi David Jaffe

The shofar blasts on Rosh Hashanah are designed to wake us up. How do we avoid hitting the snooze button, rolling over and going back to sleep once the holiday passes? That is the goal of Yom Kippur -- to keep us spiritually awake.

Shmitta: The Bible's Solution to America's Debt Problems?

Ari Hart | Posted 09.28.2014 | Religion
Ari Hart

Where are we now? Income disparity soars, student loans threaten to be the next subprime mortgages, and millions of Americans struggle daily to make ends meet. Unmanageable, crippling debt is still harming millions of American families.

Planting the Seed of Eternity: A Meditation On Rosh Hashanah and Our Planet

Rabbi David Seidenberg | Posted 09.24.2014 | Religion
Rabbi David Seidenberg

Every time we hear the shofar, it offers us a moment when we can, if we choose, reflect on what we are doing to this land and the Earth as a whole, our home and our womb -- all the more so this year, the Sabbatical Year. What will we conceive this year as we listen?

A Global Shofar Blast for the Climate

Rabbi David Seidenberg | Posted 09.24.2014 | Religion
Rabbi David Seidenberg

Let's make this Rosh Hashanah, and this Shmitah, the year when all of that changes. Let's get our institutions and portfolios to divest from Big Oil. Let's get our synagogues and communities to stand up for the Earth.

Isaac and Ishmael: A Rereading for This Jewish New Year

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Posted 09.24.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Mishael Zion

The Torah portions for this holiday tell the distinct tales of Abraham's two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. The texts themselves are simultaneously tragic and heroic. They raise hard-hitting ethical questions and uncomfortable dilemmas. In other words, they are real.

Autumn Equinox: The Day of Peace and Relationships

Gahl Eden Sasson | Posted 09.23.2014 | Religion
Gahl Eden Sasson

Today is the Equinox! The Sun transits from Virgo into Libra, initiating Autumn (in the Northern hemisphere). You might not even know it, but most likely you felt it somewhere in your body, mind, and/or soul.

Why Is This Rosh Hashanah Different? (Nitzavim/Vayelekh, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30)

Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin | Posted 09.17.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin

This week's parashah speaks of this seventh-year fix. It calls us to come together every seven years to hear our tradition's teachings in their entirety. All members of society are to gather in one place at one time and hear the fullness of the Torah.

Impossible Ideals

Howard J. Curzer | Posted 09.15.2014 | Religion
Howard J. Curzer

Ideals are tools, and tools can be misused. The unscrupulous use them to bilk people. "Buy my diet drug, and you'll look like Barbie." "Buy my book and master mindfulness in 6 weeks."

Intense Beginnings

Rabbi Menachem Creditor | Posted 09.14.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Transitions prompt anxiety. Combinations of transitions can be simply overwhelming. Imagine what it must have been for the Israelites about to enter the land, the community they have created together barely coalescing.

Authentic and False Images of Jesus in Artworks

Bernard Starr | Posted 09.05.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Jesus would likely be horrified by the image of him displaying a crucifix. The only crucifix he ever held was the one he was nailed to in the brutal process of his crucifixion.

Preparing Our Seeds for a New Year

Daniel Raphael Silverstein | Posted 08.25.2014 | Religion
Daniel Raphael Silverstein

This week we will enter the Hebrew month of Ellul, a time traditionally dedicated to preparation for the re-birthing that waits us in one month - Rosh Hashana, the New Year.

Don't Mourn the End of Summer

Rabbi Ilana Garber | Posted 10.21.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Ilana Garber

We spend the first half of summer trying to get to as many beaches as possible and eating too much ice cream, and the second half mourning summer's early demise.

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

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg | Posted 10.14.2014 | 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.

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

Rabbi Jill Jacobs | Posted 10.05.2014 | 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.

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

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 09.29.2014 | 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.

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

Rabbi Daniel Klein | Posted 09.23.2014 | 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 09.23.2014 | 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 09.23.2014 | 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.

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

Rabbi Minna Bromberg | Posted 09.16.2014 | 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.

Muslims Must Sustain Israel, for the Sake of Palestine

Dr. David Liepert | Posted 09.13.2014 | Religion
Dr. David Liepert

For Middle east peace to come to pass, our world needs nothing more than Israel as God wants it to be.