Yom Kippur Day 5776: “Jews and Race, in Olympia and Beyond”

My friends, we need to talk about race. Three months ago, two African American men were shot by a white police officer here in Olympia. The men were caught trying to shoplift beer at the westside Safeway and, after fleeing, were confronted by a member of the Olympia police. Some form of altercation happened, and the two …

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We Don’t Count

Last Saturday night we ushered in the festival of Shavuot, which celebrates the story from the Book of Exodus of the revelation at Sinai—the story of how, after freeing the Israelite slaves from Egyptian bondage, God gives the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. This act is the foundation story of the covenant, the sacred …

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In the Wake of the Police Shooting in Olympia

I got behind in my usual posting, etc. because of the events in our Olympia community over the past 48 hours: the police shooting of two African American men in the early morning hours. Without getting into the facts of the shooting, it is enough to say that the fact of it happening raised a …

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Hanukkah and Power: #BlackLivesMatter

Like with much of our religious traditions and sacred stories (or really anything for that matter) what we learn as kids is revealed to be much more complicated as adults. Take the Hanukkah story for example. The general narrative is of the Maccabees, a Jewish family which lead a revolt against the oppressive tactics of …

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