Tag Archives: culture

Nature Abhors a Vacuum. But Antisemitism Loves One.

Sermon from Yom Kippur — October 9, 2019 In late April of 1913, a night watchman at an Atlanta pencil factory discovered the bruised and bloody corpse of a 13 year-old employee named Mary Phagan in the factory’s cellar. As news … Continue reading

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The Promises of Israel

  Sermon from Kol Nidrei — October 8, 2019 It is striking that we initiate Yom Kippur with Kol Nidrei, a liturgical poem that both highlights the promises we make and alludes to the fact that we have an unfortunate … Continue reading

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Where the Oppressed Shed Tears

Sermon for Day 1 of Rosh Hashanah 5780 — September 30, 2019 According to tradition, the powerful, piercing cry of the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah is meant to awaken us from our spiritual and moral slumber, the mindless and purposeless … Continue reading

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Bad Faith Broke Us. Only Good Faith Can Fix Us.

Sermon for Rosh Hashanah Day 25780 — October 1, 2019 Just over 400 years ago, in August 1619, a ship called The White Lion landed at Point Comfort, now Fort Monroe, in Hampton, about 60 miles downriver from us here … Continue reading

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The Heart Repair of Hanukkah: Blessing Each Other’s Light

Compared to many other Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is relatively simple. Sure, there are many lovely customs — latkes, dreidels, sufganiyot, gelt, and the like — but the essential practice of the festival is lighting the menorah each night. And, just … 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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Think Different: A Sermon on the Tower of Babel

Toward the end of Parashat Noah we encounter an intriguing but perplexing story: After the flood, Noah’s descendants multiplied and began to settle in the land of Shinar, otherwise known as Babylon. There, they decide to build a great city … Continue reading

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