On the Anniversary of Moses’s Death, We Can Prepare for Ours

The Jewish month of Adar is known primarily for the celebration of Purim. This holiday, recognizing the events of the biblical book of Esther in which Esther was able to save the Persian Jewish population from destruction at the hands of Haman, is marked by fun and games and a lighthearted tone. It falls on …

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Being Good Citizens

In this week’s Torah portion the Israelites, under the leadership of Moses, have escaped from Egyptian slavery, crossed the Red Sea and are beginning their journey to the Promised Land. Jethro, Moses’s father-in-law, has heard about the events that took place, and travels from his home in Midian to meet up with Moses in the …

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Moses and Aaron: Allies for Justice

The Inauguration is upon us. The peaceful transfer of power that is a hallmark of our American democracy goes into effect on Friday. Yet this time power is being transferred to a man who enters the office with the lowest approval rating in recent history, who lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, whose …

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Swinging Across the Jordan

I didn’t post last week because I was away at summer camp. Each summer for the past few years I have spent a week as a faculty member at URJ Camp Kalsman, a Jewish summer camp in Arlington, WA. I spend my week leading services, tutoring for b’nai mitzvah, teaching Torah, hosting a reception for …

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That Which is Buried Can Also Be Unearthed

Last week I watched a short documentary called Atari: Game Over, about the rise and fall of the video game company which, in the 1970s, popularized home video gaming systems. I have fond memories of hours spent playing my Atari 2600 when I was a kid. The framing of the documentary, which dove deep into …

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Could This One Text Message Have Saved the Lives of 3000 People?

The story of the Golden Calf, which we read in last week’s Torah portion, is a great lesson in punctuality. In the story, the Israelites have left Egypt and have made their way to Mount Sinai. There they are to get the Torah from God which will form the basis for their new community and …

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Here We Are Again, For the Very First Time

This was one of my favorite phrases to come out of my recent 18-month program on mindfulness and embodied spirituality for Jewish clergy, run by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. One of my teachers, Rabbi Jonathan Slater, spoke them as we came to one of our last mediation sessions of the program. I echoed these …

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