Telling Stories of Trauma for Healing and Compassion

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Moses

August 27, 2015

  (Parshat Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19) On the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, a group in Japan launched a project in which storytellers are training to retell the experiences of survivors. My grandfather participated in a similar project 20 years ago, the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which sought to collect […]

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Pursuing Justice, Pursued by Love

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8.19.15

Parshat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9
August 20, 2015

A few weeks ago, I went with a friend to a prayer service and march, protesting the building of a high-pressure fracked gas pipeline through a residential neighborhood in the Boston area. Standing in a soccer field with parents, kids, and dogs, we sang songs of hope and resilience, crying out against the building of […]

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Seeing Past, Present, and Future on the Road to Justice

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8.10.15

Parashat Re’eh, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
August 10, 2015

“See”: This simple command opens this week’s parasha and gives it its name, Re’eh. “See: I place before you today the blessing and the curse.” This commandment introduces a moving teaching about how God’s commandments are set before us, and will lead to blessings if we fulfill them and curses if we abandon them. But […]

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While Standing on One Foot: A Compassion Practice

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Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Dean, Rabbinical School
August 5, 2015

I have spent the last week grieving privately. Horrified — nauseated, actually — by the two murders that took place in Israel last week. The first victim: Shira Banki, a 16-year-old girl, stabbed by an ultra-Orthodox Jew at the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem last week. She succumbed to her wounds this past Sunday morning.  Five other young people […]

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A Purpose-Driven Tribe

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Parshat Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25

Instructor, Parenting Through a Jewish Lens
August 3, 2015

Parshat Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 “And now, O Israel what does God ask of you? Only this: to have awe for God, to walk in all of God’s ways, to love God, and to serve God with all your heart and soul, keeping God’s mitzvot and laws. All the heavens and earth belong to God…Yet it […]

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Marriage Equality: Monogamy and Metaphor

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70-faces

Parshat Va'etchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
July 29, 2015

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would […]

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Arguing About Values, Not Facts

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devarim-Cópia

Parshat Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
July 22, 2015

If trends in America matched what I see on my Facebook feed, then marriage equality would have happened 10 years ago and Bernie Sanders (or maybe Hillary Clinton) would win the 2016 election with 90 percent of the popular vote. I know that my Facebook circle doesn’t exactly mirror the wider American populace, but why don’t I […]

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Engaging Head-On With Violent Sacred Texts

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Parshat Matot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13
July 15, 2015

Vengeance and carnage, commanded by God. Slaughter of the enemy: man, woman and child. Virgins as trophies of war. Wholesale taking of life. This week’s Torah portion, Matot-Masei, contains violent passages from which most modern readers will want to disassociate ourselves — believing they do not reflect our Judaism, our values, who we are and aspire to […]

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Radical Compassion: Moses and the Master of Berditchev

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Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1
Director, Center for Global Judaism
July 8, 2015

According to folklore, the 18th-century Hasidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev was once walking through the streets of the city on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av (which falls during the summer), when he saw a most unexpected site: a Jewish man he knew eating lunch by the side of the […]

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Aronson Sculpted a Remarkable Career

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DavidAronson1956

President, Hebrew College
July 7, 2015

David Aronson, renowned artist and former Hebrew College student, passed away last week at the age of 91. Aronson was born in Lithuania in 1923 and immigrated to this country at the age of 6. As a youth, he studied at what was then Hebrew Teachers College in Roxbury. He later studied at the School […]

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