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Spirituality & Social Justice

                              “I work to create authentic relationships and support others to do the same. It is through these relationships that we find God and where, I would argue, we find the power to transform ourselves and the world for the better.” (Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin, Rab’11, Director, Clergy and Leadership Development, ECCO, Lynn, Mass.) Learn about The… Read Article →

Community Blog Daniel-Klein

Singing in the Dark: Leviticus and the Call for Social Justice

“There’s a part of the singer going way back in American history that is of course the canary in the coalmine. When it gets dark, you’re supposed to be singing. It’s dark right now.” Bruce Springsteen made this statement in 2007, but it is no less relevant today. Current events have brought to the fore and emphasized a dramatic sense of uncertainty, frustration and longing that exists in our society…. Read Article →

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The Social Justice Rabbi

“I came to the rabbinate after realizing that the language, faith, and community of Judaism would help me push through the despair and paralysis I felt about environmental degradation. Today, as a rabbi at Temple Sinai of Brookline, I support my congregants in building rich Jewish lives. I gain strength from our communal t’fila, congregational organizing for justice, and engaging my congregants of all ages. From that place of community, I… Read Article →

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Living Torah

“As the grandchild of three Holocaust survivors, the affirmation of ‘Never Again’ is very personal to me.  But that doesn’t just mean never again for Jews.  It means never again for anyone.  This commitment is not just a response to specific traumatic events in history.  I believe, as Hillel taught, that it is the essence of Torah: Do not do unto others that which you find hateful.  As a rabbinical… Read Article →

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Lesson with Rabbi Micha’el Rosenberg: Responsibility for Others

Rabbi Michael Rosenberg, Professor of Rabbinics at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, taught this session on Autonomy, Community, and Everything in Between: Halakhic Sources on Aiding Others in Transgression (Lifnei Iver) at Ta Sh’ma, the Rabbinical School’s Open House & Day of Learning for prospective rabbinical students. Download the lesson print materials here.

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Lev

What’s Truth Got to Do With It?

Parshat VaEra, Exodus 6:2-9:35 A colleague calls me to vent: A congregant had told her angrily that she should not talk about climate change in her sermons, because climate change isn’t real. My mother-in-law tells us about a client who says that he voted for Donald Trump because Hillary Clinton is one of the worst mass murderers in history. 2016 brought America’s public discourse to a new, dangerous place. We… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah shoshana-friedman

Going Toward Egypt

Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 The other day while visiting my parents, I overheard my mom on a call. The woman on the other end of the phone had helped my parents with home decorating in the past, and they had called to ask her advice about an old couch. But within moments I heard my mom exclaiming, “Oh, sweetie! I’m so sorry. When will you be in Boston for chemo?”… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Elisha Herb

Tisha b’Av: Shabbat’s Unwanted Guest (Parshat Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22)

One of the most beloved and influential teachers and mentors in my life was Dr. Vincent Harding, of blessed memory. A black Mennonite and champion of nonviolent resistance, he once chastised those Jews who enjoy the privileges of passing as white Americans. For Jewish involvement in the civil rights movement, which included the martyrdom of Jewish activists, he thanked and praised us. And, yet, he pointed out, we often “hide… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Michael-Rosenberg

When Mourning Is Not Yet Done (Parshat Hukkat, Numbers 19:1-22:1)

Shabbat can function as a break from the unbearably real. We spend our week not only consumed by our personal struggles, large and small, but also tuned to the news, sometimes stunned by, sometimes merely inured to, the near-constant reminders of how broken is the world in which we dwell. Then come the 25 hours of respite that Shabbat provides. For those, me included, who have the practice of disconnecting… Read Article →

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The Unattainable Destination Shapes Our Journey

Parshat Shelach Lecha, Numbers 13:1-15:41 I once owned a refrigerator magnet that read, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey to get there.”   Each time I went to the refrigerator, whether I was reaching for a snack, meal ingredients, or something else, I considered its truth. Surely the idea of living and learning in each moment of the day is something I preach and teach, but doesn’t… Read Article →