Babylon and the Writing on the Wall

Rome’s satirical translation of the “writing on the wall” seems as appropriate to 2017 as to 1939, and it’s quite faithful to the biblical text… This song also leads to further questions about how we understand and interact with sacred text, particularly at times of crisis.

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Trouble to See #1: Expelling a Crease or Two

[updated 8/15] At the invitation of Temple Micah‘s Lunch and Learn program (8/10/16), I shared some thoughts about Jews and Racial Justice. I appreciate the opportunity. As promised, I offer the references cited for anyone who wants to explore further: Jews and Racial Justice reference page. I also include below a link to the SongRiseDC […]

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Endurance and Leadership (beyond 27)

The close of the Netzach [“Endurance” or “Leadership”] week of the omer journey seems an auspicious moment to share some resources for leading conversations and action within the Jewish community. Are communities in which you’re active having the necessary conversations? It takes many forms of leadership to get discussion started in ways that allow everyone […]

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Strength and Boundaries, Imperfection and Hope (Beyond 7)

With the close of Shabbat and the end of Passover, we move into the “gevurah [strength, boundaries]” week of the omer, on our journey away from oppression. In the spirit of gevurah as strength, I suggest we begin this week by honoring the strength of individuals of color, persevering in a society that too often […]

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The Facts of Jewish Diversity (Beyond 2)

Continuing the theme of “not knowing” as a form of callous, insensitive “moral deficiency,” one we seek to leave behind this Passover season, let’s explore some facts about diversity in the Jewish community. Upwards of 435,000 Jews — possibly as many as 400,000 in the New York City area alone — identify (also) as African […]

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Faith Leaders Tell Congress: Take Action on Racial Justice

May each die-in act, symbolically embodying the last moments of the departed, bind their deaths more tightly into our national consciousness and collective commitment to change. — from “Grief and Struggle” prayer Faith-based action brought the #BlackLivesMatter movement directly into Congressional space. The House Office die-in was designed to interrupt “business as usual” in the […]

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Community, Leadership, and Listening

Leadership and community are key elements in the early chapters of Exodus. We see a variety of strong actions and interactions: 1) Moses sees an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew; he responds by killing the Egyptian and then hides the deceased in the sand. 2) Moses sees two Hebrew men fighting and tries to stop […]

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Blood, Justice, Grief and Healing: A Tale for Two Birthdays

This week, Jews begin to move beyond the lowest point of the calendar, a period known as “The Three Weeks,” toward the new year. The Three Weeks focus on prophetic admonishment for our ethical failings, while the seven weeks that follow call for a renewed focus on a “path of justice.” Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July […]

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