Wandering and Welcoming

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abrahams-servant

Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27
Dean, Rabbinical School
October 29, 2014

This week’s Torah reading begins with the command, “Lech lecha”: Go forth. Go out from your land and from your father’s house. Go. When my husband and I first met, he told me that his family had a kind of motto: “Set yourself in motion and things will happen to you.” My own family did not really have […]

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We Are All Noah Now

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People's Climate March New York

October 23, 2014

On Sept. 21, I joined 400,000 people on the streets of New York City for the People’s Climate March. Painted with the words “We are all Noah now” and “People of faith call for climate action,” a large wooden ark rolled along as part of the interfaith section of the colorful throngs. Jews marched with […]

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Israel: A Love Affair

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amos oz

Dean, Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education
October 22, 2014

I just celebrated 40 years of visiting Israel! I was there recently visiting our Hebrew College education and rabbinic students who are studying in Jerusalem this year. It was a short but delightful visit; packing in countless scheduled and spontaneous meetings with colleagues and friends, wandering the Jerusalem streets as sukkot were erected, the boys […]

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Marheshvan – In the Wake of the Floodwaters

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rainbow

Assistant Professor, Rabbinical School
October 22, 2014

And as I watch the drops of rain Weave their weary paths and die, I know that I am like the rain There but for the grace of You go I. (Paul Simon, “Kathy’s Song”) Marheshvan (or Heshvan) is the month of darkening days creeping towards the winter solstice, leaves ablaze on the New England […]

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Others, Brothers

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80

October 15, 2014

The first big question that is posed in the Bible is when God asks Adam: “Ayeka–Where are you?”(Genesis 3:9). This is not the divine GPS gone awry; physical location is of no interest to God here. This one-word query in Hebrew is the spiritual and existential question par excellence. And since it is asked in […]

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Sukkot: Staying a Little Bit Longer

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sukkah2007

Rector, Rabbinical School; Irving Brudnick Professor of Philosophy and Religion
October 8, 2014

My sukkah, my little holiday booth, 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. Sukkot is far and away […]

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Presidential Inauguration

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inaug

President, Hebrew College
October 7, 2014

Since becoming president of Hebrew College, just over six years ago, I had participated in three presidential inaugurations.  Andover Newton Theological School’s was my fourth. The first three celebrated the inaugurations of new presidents at three very different institutions of higher learning. Each president, however, was a committed and active Jew. The fourth one, this past […]

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This Side of the Rainbow

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noahs-ark

Dean, Rabbinical School
October 3, 2014

On the day of my wedding, 22 years ago this past August, my mother – who does not distribute such compliments freely or lightly – said to my husband Shimi, “You are the best possible son-in-law I could imagine.” A few minutes later, Shimi – feeling both honored and relieved – shared the compliment with […]

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Wake Up to a New Year: A Yom Kippur Reflection

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shofar

Instructor, Parenting Through a Jewish Lens
October 2, 2014

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. In the days of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, Yom Kippur […]

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Planting the Seed of Eternity: A Meditation on Rosh Hashana and Our Planet

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rabbi david seidenberg

September 24, 2014

On Rosh Hashana, after every time we hear the sound of the shofar, we call out the words, “Hayom harat olam.” This expression is usually translated as, “Today is the birthday of the world, or “Today the world is born.” Even though that’s the common translation, the Hebrew word “harah” or “harat” actually means pregnancy, […]

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