Category Archives: Articles and Op-Eds

Richmond’s Wailing Wall

The recent wave of anti-racism protests have produced at least one tangible outcome: Sometime soon, Richmond’s Confederate monuments will be removed. As I have argued before, this move is both welcome and long overdue.  However, as plans are drawn for … Continue reading

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A History Lesson

During the first weekend of demonstrations, Richmonders joined in the nationwide protests over police brutality towards African Americans, launched in response to the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer. The mostly peaceful … Continue reading

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Shavuot and Collective Responsibility

It is telling that when Jewish faith is born, it is born in community. The revelation at Sinai, which we commemorate on the festival Shavuot (which begins this Thursday evening), is a national encounter with the Divine, a collective experience. … Continue reading

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‘We can be so much more when we live in love’: Two area faith leaders share thoughts of hope, help during COVID pandemic

The following are thoughts that David Dwight, Lead Pastor of Hope Church in Richmond, and I shared with the Richmond Times-Dispatch on helping people through the difficulties of life in COVID-19. (The questions and responses have been edited for length … Continue reading

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Wearing a face mask? You’re doing a mitzvah. Make a brachah!

Among the Jewish tradition’s most cherished values is the sanctity of human life. With a few notable exceptions, one must not endanger their life in order to fulfill a religious obligation. And one must violate even the most significant commandments … Continue reading

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Coronavirus is our Amalek. The Torah’s lesson is clear: Protect the vulnerable.

As Jewish communities gather to celebrate the Purim holiday under the shadow of a global pandemic, it is worth heeding a piece of wisdom embedded in one of the scriptures most closely associated with the holiday. On the Sabbath before … Continue reading

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Renewing our Vows: A New Approach to Intermarriage

Recently, my congregation’s lay leadership voted to permit its clergy to officiate at marriages between a Jewish individual and a partner from another background (with some important conditions), if and when the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly and the Cantorial Assembly … Continue reading

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The Disappeared: A Richmond Rabbi Takes On Human Rights In Guatemala

The history of Guatemala’s secret abductions reminds us how important the principle of universal equality really is — and points out how far from that principle the United States has gone. On a recent trip to Guatemala with rabbinic colleagues … Continue reading

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A Non-Partisan Jewish Voting Guide

1. Anti-Semitism, racism, hate, and bigotry. Does the candidate stand up against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of bigotry? Did s/he condemn the neo-Nazis and other white nationalists who marched with guns and torches in Charlottesville in 2017? Does s/he … Continue reading

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What’s Driving Jews Away From Synagogues? Not Dues, but ‘Membership’

It is no secret that the traditional synagogue model is showing signs of age: Over the past two decades, membership has declined across the United States, forcing many synagogues to merge and even to close for good. There has been … Continue reading

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