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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Others, Brothers

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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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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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Why Is This Rosh Hashana Different? (Nitzavim/Vayelekh, Deut. 29:9-31:30)

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shmita-thumb

September 19, 2014

The new Jewish year, 5775, which starts next Wednesday night, is not like most other Jewish years. This new year calls us to a radically new way of being, a new way of living, for it inaugurates the “shmita,” the sabbatical year — the seventh year in a recurring cycle of sacred sevens that traces […]

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On the Just Use of Force by Our Police

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Police-Officer

Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9
President, Hebrew College
August 29, 2014

The tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has focused the nation’s attention once again on issues of justice related to the use of fatal force by police, especially against unarmed African-American men. The death of four black men at the hands of police in Ferguson, New York City, Los Angeles and Ohio this […]

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Where Hope Takes Root

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Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 / Isaiah 54:11-55:5
August 22, 2014

“Unhappy. Storm-crossed. Uncomforted.” Are you talking to me? Perhaps the prophet Isaiah was speaking to all of us, foreshadowing the awful summer of 2014: Michael Brown gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri… ISIS and the butchering of the Yazidis… Ebola in West Africa… Syria—120,000 innocent civilians dead… Parents and children languishing in the blazing summer heat […]

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Divine-Human Partnership

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Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12 - 11:25
August 15, 2014

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. As I write, […]

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Beyond Tragedy and Despair: Emerging from Tisha b’Av

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tishabav_arch

Isaiah 40:1-26
August 6, 2014

Death. Destruction. Suffering. Pain. Hate speech. Loss of moral footing. These words just as easily describe the events of the past few weeks, as they do the Book of Eicha (Lamentations), read on Tisha b’Av. Both the tragic war in Israel and Gaza, and the liturgy of Tisha B’av invite us to wallow in despair. […]

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