The Life and Death and Life of Books

As a congregational rabbi, I am used to the ebbs and flows of time and ritual. Shabbat comes every week, the holidays cycle every year, there will always be births and deaths, weddings and b’nai mitzvah. But every so often an opportunity arises that a rabbi will participate in only once (maybe twice) in a …

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Remembering to Remember

On this week in which we commemorate the Holocaust, a disturbing report came out: memory of the events of the Holocaust are fading, and fewer people in younger generations know basic facts about the destruction of European Jewry and Nazi Germany. It is disturbing, and on one level not surprising—the more we temporally move away …

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Good Translations. Or, Another Reason Not to Fast on the 10th of Tevet

Thursday was a minor fast day on the Jewish calendar: the 10th of Tevet. Minor in this case means that it is a sunrise to sunset fast, as opposed to the major fast of Yom Kippur, which is a full 25-hour fast. The themes, though, are not minor: it is a fast day because it …

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Hearing Dinah’s Silence

The news has been a cascade of allegations, resignations and firings. Men, mostly in the media, have been accused of sexual harassment and assault, and have lost their positions: Harvey Weinstein, Garrison Keillor, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Louis C.K., Charlie Rose and others. Political figures have also been accused, though their removal is more difficult. …

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