Tag Archives: personal

Celebrating Jewish Culture in Troubled Times

Keynote address at University of Mary Washington’s Jewish Cultural Celebration (November 6, 2019) Good evening. It is such an honor and a joy to be with you this evening for this celebration of Jewish Culture. It is especially meaningful to … Continue reading

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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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Everyone Has a Right to Sanctuary – Parashat Matot-Mas’ei 2019

Parashat Mas’ei, the last portion of Ba-Midbar, is both backward and forward looking in nature: It is backward looking, because it begins with a recapitulation of all the places the Israelites sojourned in the wilderness; and it is forward looking … Continue reading

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Inner and Outer Work

This speech was originally given at the Spring Keynote event for the Chrysalis Institute (now The Innerwork Center) on May 2, 2019. Within a six week span in late 2016, two things happened that changed my life: The first was … Continue reading

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Spiritual Revolutionaries: Making Religion Meaningful in the 21st Century

On December 1 and 2, 2018, I participated in an interfaith “pulpit swap” with my dear friend and colleague, Rev. Hollie Woodruff, of Seventh Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Richmond. She preached to my congregation on Saturday, and … Continue reading

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The Responsibilities of Privilege

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about luck. It all started this past summer, when my friend Nadya invited me to her naturalization ceremony. Now, I’d never been to such a ceremony before. But I assumed it would be a … Continue reading

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