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Parshat Devarim: So, Let's Review

Josh Fleet | Posted 09.25.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

On the plans of Moab on the first day of the 11th month of the 40th year of wandering, Moses rebukes the Children of Israel for their sins. But only subtly. He lists all the places of their transgression. He doesn't mention what they did wrong.

Tisha B'Av: Dispelling Hatred With Love

Eitan Press | Posted 09.25.2012 | Religion
Eitan Press

The consciousness that is going to rebuild the Temple is one of baseless Love. Love predicated by no reason. Love that gives selflessly. Love that serves life for the sake of Love. It means seeing the good in others and building people with our words.

Cries In The Night: Human Trafficking And Tisha B'av

Ari Hart | Posted 09.25.2012 | Religion
Ari Hart

Today, this nightmare persists for millions of human beings around the world. There are an estimated 30 million slaves in the world, perhaps more than at any other point in history.

The Geography Of Identity: Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22

Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin | Posted 09.23.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin

There is a price to pay when we remake the world over in our image, when everywhere is familiar despite the miles we have travelled. To force the world into a social monoculture both destroys the world's vibrant diversity and alienates us from particularity of place.

Parshat Matot-Massei: The Long And Winding Home

Josh Fleet | Posted 09.18.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

These are the 42 journeys of the Children of Israel after leaving Egypt. Now, God speaks to Moses, telling him to speak to the people about what lies ahead.

Prince Fielder, Cecil Fielder And The Father-Son Dynamic

Rabbi Jason Miller | Posted 09.12.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Jason Miller

I thought of the Moses-Joshua relationship and the Torah's concept of inheritance and succession as I watched Prince Fielder hoist his Home Run Derby trophy high above his head. His sons flanked him on either side. His father was no where in sight.

Celebrating The Talmud Means Reflecting Its Diversity

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 09.12.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

The Talmud does not belong to any Jew or Jewish community. It is open and accessible to all. A true celebration of studying the Talmud would be reflective of this ideology of scholarly inclusiveness.

Parshat Pinchas: You Can Look, Moses, But Do Not Touch

Josh Fleet | Posted 09.12.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

"Pinchas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the priest has calmed my anger," God tells Moses. "Through his violent and vengeful zealotry, he has saved the Children of Israel. For this I give him my covenant of peace. And for endless days will he be a priest."

Embodied Spirituality: 'The Body Is The Glory Of The Soul'

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson | Posted 09.12.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson

In our age, many identify a spiritual life precisely with an otherworldly attitude, one that looks upon physical things as somehow destructive. We need not be chained to this toxic split.

Passing The Mantle: Moses And The Challenges Of Succession

Rabbi Or Rose | Posted 09.11.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Or Rose

We all know how complicated it can be for a community to deal with such transitions and the power the outgoing and incoming leaders have in shaping this experience. Here, Moses rises to the challenge.

Parshat Balak: A Talking Donkey And The Curses That Became Blessings

Josh Fleet | Posted 09.04.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

alak, the king of Moab, sees everything Israel has done. He sees the fate of the Amorites. His people become sick with fear. Balak fears them too.

Parshat Chukat: Some Things Are Beyond Understanding

Josh Fleet | Posted 08.29.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

Bring a perfect red heifer, God says. One that's never worked the field. Give the cow to the priest Eleazar, who must take it outside the camps of Israel and have it slaughtered.

Tending The Fire Of Spiritual Practice

Rabbi Yael Levy | Posted 08.27.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Yael Levy

This is a fire of devotion, connection, awareness. The flames bring light that helps us see where we are and who we are meant to be. We tend this fire through practice, through mitzvot: acts of connection and love.

May You See Your World: An Ancient Blessing For Today

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson | Posted 08.26.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson

After studying together all day long, the rabbinic sages would not simply walk out of the Study Hall. No. They ritualized a loving and elevated way of blessing each other every time they parted.

Korach And The Abuse Of Power

Rabbi Edward Bernstein | Posted 08.26.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Edward Bernstein

In Parashat Korach, we learn about anshei shem, men of renown, who abuse their power to the detriment of the community. We saw a similar phenomenon 40 years ago in Watergate, and we see it today in our broken election financing system.

Parshat Shelach Lecha: Seeing What You Want To See

Josh Fleet | Posted 08.14.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

"Send scouts, one from each tribe, distinguished leaders all of them, to explore Canaan," God tells Moses. So Moses selects Shammua, Shaphat, Caleb, Igal, Hosea (aka Joshua), Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Gemalli, Sethur, Nahbi and Geuel.

Speaking Out Against Sexual Abuse: Numbers 13:1-15:41

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Posted 08.12.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Mishael Zion

We must not let our desire for positive speech to cause us to conceal important truths. An ethics of speech must also include directives about when to speak up, not just when to stay silent.

Parshat Beha'alotecha: This Is What Happens When You Complain

Josh Fleet | Posted 08.08.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

Tell Aaron, God says to Moses, that when he sparks the fire of the candelabrum, the light of each branch should be directed toward the center. Aaron ignites the lamps just so.

The Bible Is A Book Of Inclusion And Love

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson | Posted 08.06.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson

The Bible that you hear preached by some is a bible of rules, a bible of rigidity; occasionally, a bible of fear. This is not what draws me to the Bible, and it is important that somebody publicly present a different take.

Matisyahu And The Pitfalls Of The Charismatic Leader

Rabbi Ben Greenberg | Posted 08.05.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Ben Greenberg

His move away from his religious observance, and thus his role as a cultural icon and leader for religious Jewry, took another dramatic step today.

Parshat Naso: What Do You Give To God?

Josh Fleet | Posted 08.01.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

The priests should say to everyone, using God's name: May God bless you and keep you. May God cause the Divine Face to shine upon you and favor you. May God turn toward you and grant you peace.

Breaking the 'Stained Glass' Ceiling: Women And Numbers 4:41-7:89

Rabbi Naamah Kelman | Posted 07.29.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Naamah Kelman

This week's Torah portion, Naso, is a dramatic reminder of women's vulnerability. One of the most notorious ordeals regarding women is found within it.

Confessions Of A Free!aholic

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 07.27.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

I confess! I am a freeaholic. What is a freeaholic? I am addicted to offering things to other people for free. But there is no such things as a free lunch, so it is time to look at my own behavior.

Why I'm Skipping Shavuot

Rabbi Laura Baum | Posted 07.25.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Laura Baum

I'm a rabbi. But I won't be observing the Shavuot holiday this weekend. Not because I don't have the time. It's because the traditional message of Shavuot doesn't speak to me.

I Was At Mt. Sinai: A Personal Revelation Story

Rabbi Jason Miller | Posted 07.25.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Jason Miller

Never has the spiritual force of revelation affected me more than it did on the early morning of May 31, 1998.