Joseph’s Tears and Toxic Masculinity

As the biblical story of Joseph comes to its climax in this week's Torah portion of Vayigash, we note his tears. The story in quick summation: Joseph is the favored child of his father Jacob, much to the chagrin of his 11 brothers. Plus, Joseph has dreams that indicate that he will rise above his …

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We are all Saints and Sinners

Which is the right picture of our biblical Joseph? There is Joseph, the young idealist who through no fault of his own is hated by his brothers who first try to kill him then sell him into slavery, who has beautiful visions of the future and acts on them, who although enslaved nevertheless was responsible …

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Hanukkah, the Holiday of Right Now

Tonight marks the beginning of Hanukkah, that eight-day celebration when we bring light into the darkness by lighting the menorah each night. The story of Hanukkah is retold and well known—the Hasmoneans (Maccabees) lead a revolt against the assimilationist forces of Antiochus and the Syrian-Greeks and emerge victorious. When they go to rededicate the ancient …

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We are All Sitting Shiva Now

This has been a paralyzing week. I was getting ready for our own Shabbat gathering last Saturday--we have a rotating set of study groups that meet on Shabbat morning; that Shabbat was Talmud study--when Yohanna texted me the news of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. It was a bit surreal. …

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On the Shooting in Pittsburgh

Words I shared with my congregation this afternoon in the wake of the attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh: Dear friends, By now, many of you have heard the horrible news of the shooting this morning at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. As of this writing there are 11 confirmed dead and numerous more injured. Our …

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It’s Election Season! Here are the Rabbi360 Endorsements.

Ballots have arrived in our mailboxes so I'm venturing out for the first time with my own (Jewish-informed) endorsement sheet. First off, two things to get out of the way. Number 1: VOTE. Regardless of if you follow my suggestions, just vote. We live in a participatory democracy, which means we must participate. Voting is …

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