All Articles Tagged Israel

 

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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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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Hebrew College Expands Its Presence in Israel

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View to Jerusalem old city. Israel

President, Hebrew College
July 18, 2014

Last night I attended a rally in support of Israel hosted by our local federation and Jewish community relations council. It was only a few weeks ago that the community gathered to mourn the death of four teenage boys — three Israelis and one Palestinian — who were brutally murdered. The rocket attacks on Israel […]

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Promises on a Bumpy Road

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Mattot, Numbers 30:2-32:42
July 16, 2014

Soon we will enter the land. There will be bumps in the road. Things we swore we would do may go undone. Things we promised we would refrain from may become commonplace. Here in parashat Mattot, the Israelites are already encamped on the Plains of Moab, having finished their forty years of wandering in the […]

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Religious Zealotry, Then and Now

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Pinhas, Numbers 25:10-30:1
July 9, 2014

Hot-blooded anger. Self-righteousness. Unflinching certainty. Extreme measures. These are some of the hallmarks of violent religious zealotry. We see its vicious resurgence all over the world today: the headlines from Iraq, Syria, and much of the Middle East are filled with Islamist jihad, as Sunnis slaughter Shiites and vice versa; Boko Haram, a radical Islamic […]

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The Numbers of Those Who Wandered in the Wilderness

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Be-Midbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20
May 22, 2014

This week we begin reading the fourth book of the Torah, known in English as the book of Numbers. This text, however, carries a different name in Hebrew. The English/Latin title is all about the census of those who wandered in the desert; the Hebrew title, Be-Midbar, is all about the wilderness in which they […]

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Far Away and Still at Home: Israel and Our Interfaith Family

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Director, Prozdor
May 9, 2014

When a Jewish kid from Boston met a Catholic girl from Rhode Island in a Waltham basement fifteen years ago, I’m sure no one looked into the future and saw us happily married with a boatload of kids. But in this world, you never know what will happen, and here we are. It may not […]

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The Sacred and Mythic Dimensions of Yom Ha’atzmaut

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Faculty, Rabbinical School
April 6, 2014

Our Jewish holidays have a complicated relationship with history. On the one hand, they tell a story of occurrences in time from the creation of the world (Shabbat) through the exodus from Egypt (Pesah) the destruction of the temple (Tisha b’Av) and down to the establishment of the State of Israel (Yom Ha’atzmaut). yOn the […]

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