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Vanquishing our Goblins

Last weekend we had a wonderful visit from Eric Kimmel, one of the leading Jewish children’s book authors. Eric visited the Timberland Library on Saturday evening, then spent Sunday morning with our Beit Sefer families before concluding his time with a lunch with community members. For a tradition that loves storytelling, Eric continues that tradition ...

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Why “Protect Our Children” Doesn’t

Here in Washington, we don’t have Election Day, we have election week. With all mail balloting the norm here, it means that we don’t always have the final tally of votes at the end of Election Day. Votes that are postmarked on Election Day are still valid, and as they come in a close election ...

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Come as You Are

Recently you may have heard about the Pew study of American Jewry, which revealed many interesting details and trends among Jews. I’ve been slowly digesting both the report itself and the numerous commentaries written analyzing the report and its implications. In short, the report shows that many Jews identify strongly with Judaism and Jewish community. ...

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Thanksgivukkah! (The Powerpoint)

For my community I summarized some of the calendar and astronomical issues that leads to the confluence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah this year. Here is the powerpoint I used... Thanksgivukkah!

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“Does a Zombie Rabbi Say Kaddish for Itself?”

“Does a zombie rabbi say Kaddish for itself?” This was the tongue-in-cheek observation from my son, fresh from his bar mitzvah, as we discussed Halloween. Would an undead rabbi recite the prayer for the dead for himself? Building on the trend that seems to have taken over public entertainment, I was musing about combining popular ...

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Take Me Out…With a Story

Last week I traveled to Philadelphia to attend the board meeting of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, to which I was elected last March. I'm honored to serve my association, and that service brings me back east twice a year. While my schedule permits me only so much time to extend my trip either on the front end ...

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God Tested Abraham. And Abraham Returned the Favor.

This week in our Torah reading cycle we come to parashat Vayera. While in the first couple of portions we have discrete stories being told each week-first about creation, then about Noah-and later in Genesis we will tell the Joseph saga over several weeks, this week’s portion is packed with several very dense and powerful ...

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The Garden of Boredom

Well, it's been a wonderful month of reflection and celebration as we made our way through the fall holiday cycle, culminating with my son Ozi's bar mitzvah. It was wonderful to be able to share that event with the community. So for my first column back from my Tishre hiatus I turn it over to ...

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A Rabbi and His Cat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7fCq1Az9Aw While making a slideshow for my son's bar mitzvah, I found I had a lot of photos of me and our kitten Peanut. So I decided to make my own slideshow...

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