Is This What Sinat Chinam Looks Like?

It was at the end of my time away, which included a spiritual retreat and vacation time with my extended family, that I opened up my email to get caught up, only to learn that our building has been once again targeted by graffiti. Someone had scrawled "Free Palestine!" on one of the large columns …

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This Sunday, I am Fasting for Black Churches

This Sunday is the observance of the 17th of Tammuz. More than just a date on the calendar, it is a minor fast day in the Jewish tradition. [N.B.: Sunday is actually the 18th, but because the 17th falls on Shabbat, the fast is postponed one day.] The day marks the beginning of a three …

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Listening to Jeremiah in Charleston

Yesterday was quite a day. Yesterday was an amazing spiritual confluence: in the Jewish calendar it was Rosh Hodesh Tammuz, the first day of the month of Tammuz. For Muslims, the holy month of Ramadan began. And Pope Francis issued a major encyclical on the environment, which hopefully promises to change the way we address …

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We Acknowledge the Past, But Don’t Live There

This Tuesday coming up is Tisha B’Av, the Ninth of Av, a day of sorrow and commemoration for the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem. There were two Temples, the first destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the second by the Romans in 70 CE. Tradition teaches that both were destroyed on …

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Destruction and Rebuilding this Tisha B’Av

On Tisha B'Av we mark the destruction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. It was such a calamity for the Jewish people, as the Temple was central institution of the community at the time. Since then, we have mourned its loss with fasting and the recitation of the book of Lamentations, as well as adopting …

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