Telling Stories of Trauma for Healing and Compassion

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7.28.15

September 2, 2015

Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 The issue of immigration is capturing heightened attention around the world. A wave of immigrants, including many refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Libya, is finding its way through the Balkans into Europe. Others are crossing the Mediterranean in rickety boats, which all too often sink. In Austria, more than 70 […]

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Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller: Cultivating A Heart of Wisdom

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miller

Director, Center for Global Judaism
September 2, 2015

The following is excerpted from a eulogy delivered by Rabbi Or Rose, director of the Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College, at the funeral of one of his former students, Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller, on Aug. 27, 2015. Our sages teach us that every person is an “olam katan,” a “little world,” or rendered […]

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Telling Stories of Trauma for Healing and Compassion

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Moses

Parshat Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19
August 27, 2015

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 testimony from survivors before the experience […]

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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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JWPT_ParshotMatotMasei_2

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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