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Last year, while I was still a student in rabbinical school and serving as advisor to Jewish students at Haverford College, I helped to organize and staff an Interfaith Encounters alternative spring break trip run by the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia. I found the experience so meaningful that even though I no longer serve in any official…Continue
“Why did God create human beings? Because God loves stories.”
This is what Elie Wiesel concluded based on his studies of Jewish literature, and I love the idea, even though I must be a real disappointment to God since I can’t seem to tell stories, at least not orally.
My relationships with friends, colleagues and the members of the congregation I serve haven’t been threatened by my oral story-telling disability, and neither have my relationships with loved ones. With one…Continue
The tragic events of last week occurred while Jews were reading a section of the story of Joseph and his brothers which is bursting with bereavement. As I read it through the lens of midrash, this ancient story not only echoes our pain, but may also offer us some hope and guidance.
The part of the book of Genesis read last week features two bereaved parents. Joseph's father, Jacob, has already lost Rachel, his favorite wife, and Joseph, his favorite son. Now he is threatened with…Continue
The disturbing recent news about the bloody protests in the Arab world incited by a video defaming the Prophet Muhammad remind me of a story associated with Rosh Hashanah, which begins on Sunday at sundown.
When Rosh Hashanah begins, the Jewish calendar will enter the year 5773. According to the tradition, exactly 5773 years ago, the…Continue