Tag Archives: Jewish law

Why Israel Matters (to me, at least) – Va-Et’hanan 5775

Today marks the second week of our sermon series about Israel. I wanted to spend some time together this month unpacking several takeaways from my recent trip to Israel and, in general, talking about our relationship to the Jewish State … Continue reading

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The Legal Responsibility of Jewish Hotel Patrons

Over the past few years, I had been trying to pass a teshuvah (Jewish legal opinion) in the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards arguing that Jewish law insists we must not patronize businesses that abuse their workers. The paper … Continue reading

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A House of Prayer for All People – Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5775

              In the Jewish tradition, each new year provides an opportunity to pause, reflect, and refocus. We consider the events of the year that has passed, celebrate our triumphs, and confront our failures. Looking … Continue reading

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30 Days of Liberation: Day 19 – Loyal Opposition

The Seder contains two distinct customs: one, representing the view of most ancient rabbis, to eat matzah and marror separately; the other, representing Hillel’s view, to eat them together as a sandwich. This was not a petty dispute; these rabbis … Continue reading

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Is Spying on Citizens Kosher?

“Big Brother is watching you.” That is one of the most iconic lines from George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, but it could also describe one of 2013’s defining stories. In June, The Guardian exposed a classified court order that directed Verizon, … Continue reading

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23 Daily Devotions from 2013

Almost every day in 2013, I posted a reflection, a piece of wisdom, a passage from the Jewish tradition, or a devotional on my Facebook page. Here are my 23 favorites. Hope you enjoy, and find some meaning in these … Continue reading

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About This Whole Miley Cyrus Business

A confession: I am not a big Miley Cyrus fan. Sure, “The Climb” is a good song, and “Party in the USA” is pretty infectious, but as an adult male who doesn’t have cable and whose daughter is too young … Continue reading

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Orderly Freedom – 30 Days of Liberation, Day 18

Each year, I am struck by the dissonance of celebrating freedom by having a Seder, an orderly ritual meal. Shouldn’t each of us be free to celebrate our own way? The philosopher Rebecca Goldstein teaches that Judaism rejects the chaos … Continue reading

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Winey Jews – Purim Prep

A famous (and strange) Purim custom is to drink “until one no longer knows the difference between blessed Mordechai and cursed Haman.” While many rabbis tell us not to drink this much (since our primary religious obligation is health/safety) there … Continue reading

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The Jewish Necessity to Question the Israel-Gaza Conflict

Over the past few years, Hamas operatives in Gaza have been indiscriminately firing rockets into Israeli civilian population centers. When the shelling dramatically increased last week, the Israeli government decided to initiate a strong military response. The Israeli government claims … Continue reading

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