All Articles Tagged Israel

 

Religion and the Enemy

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B’Shalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16
January 29, 2015

Common wisdom has it that much violence in the world is driven by religious passion. Though there is good reason for this claim, deeper reflection reveals a more complex picture of what religions have to say about relationships with the enemy. This week’s Torah portion brings us one of Judaism’s core texts on the paradigmatic […]

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These Are My Names

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Name Tag

Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1
January 7, 2015

When my husband and I made aliyah last August, I was looking forward to bringing my name with me to Israel. I felt confident that my name would feel at home here immediately, even if I did not. While “Minna” is not a common name in Israel, it’s easily understood and certainly not the oddity […]

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Gates of Tears

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Student, The Rabbinical School of Hebrew College
November 25, 2014

In this week’s parsha, we are deep in a difficult family story. Yitzhak and Rivka struggle to conceive and after she conceives, the struggle continues in her womb. It gets no simpler once their sons are born. Esav emerges first, hairy and red, followed closely by Yaakov, clinging tightly to Esav’s heel. The boys are […]

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Grieving in the First Person Plural

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Dean, Rabbinical School
November 20, 2014

To speak at all in this moment feels tricky, treacherous even – but I feel compelled to try. I alternate between feeling there is really nothing to say, and feeling there is too much to say – what has happened, what is happening in Jerusalem is such a terrifying and tangled web of human suffering […]

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The Forgotten Miracle of Hanukkah

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Judith_with_the_Head_of_Holofernes_by_Cristofano_Allori

Professor of Jewish Women’s Studies
November 20, 2014

Why is this month (Kislev) different from all other months in the Jewish year? It offers us a holiday (Hanukkah) that (at least in the Northern hemisphere) resists and subverts the natural order. At the darkest time of year, we celebrate light. And the stories we tell to explain our rituals of creating light emphasize […]

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Israel: A Love Affair

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Amos Oz Don't Call It Night

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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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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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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Don’t Weaponize Your Words

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Holding Hands Words

Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
July 30, 2014

Far from the fighting in Israel and Gaza, Syria and Ukraine, the peanut gallery reigns supreme. Many of us have anointed ourselves armchair pundits, battling each other in wars of words disturbingly disconnected from the suffering of those in the conflict regions themselves. Rhetoric tears away at rhetoric — or more deafeningly still, is amplified […]

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