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Truths You Can Use

Truths You Can Use

March 2013 Archives

Why Americans Love Israel

A remarkable new survey was released just before President Obama’s visit to Israel. According to the poll,Americans heavily favor the Israelis over the Palestinians, 64 percent vs. 12 percent. This is the highest percentage of support for Israel since the […]

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What Would Lincoln Say About Gay Marriage?

A diverse group of pastors and parishioners now stand in front of the Supreme Court. They claim to know the same God. They also hold radically different views on the kind of relationships that God approves. This situation resembles the […]

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What Made Moses A Great Leader

Tomorrow evening the Jewish community begins the holiday of Passover. We tell the story of the journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. The hero of that journey is Moses. In Jewish tradition Moses is the […]

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Have You Earned Your Name?

Two thousand years ago the Jewish sages taught that we have at least three names during our lifetime — the name our parents give us, the name our friends call us, and the name we earn for ourselves in the […]

How President Obama Can Win Over Israel

President Obama lands today in Israel. It is his first visit as President. His relationship with Israelis has had its ups and downs. He intrigued and inspired many Israelis during the 2008 campaign. One merchant interviewed recently in the New […]

How To Ask the Right Question (It Could Save Your Life)

In a recent talk Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, pointed out a unique feature of the Hebrew language. It contains two words for the one English word “why.” The two Hebrew words are […]

Why Jews Don’t Have a Pope

Chutzpah is a Yiddish word with no exact English translation. The closest English equivalent would be “audacity” or “boldness.” But chutzpah also contains an element of passion, social concern and self-confidence. Someone with chutzpah knows what he believes, and knows […]

How To Read the Passover Story

Passover is the most celebrated Jewish holiday in America. For many the most memorable part of it is the food. Yet, Passover is also a teaching tool. We  highlight and expound upon important parts of the Exodus story.   Fortunately, […]

What the New Pope Can Learn From C.S. Lewis

The new pope, Francis, faces enormous challenges. As a rabbi, I can’t offer specific advice on doctrine or practice It would not only be audacious, but meaningless for me to suggest liturgical or clerical reforms that might help the church fulfill […]

Is Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Right?: A Jewish Perspective

In her new and controversial book Lean In, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg argues that women face a variety of unique challenges in achieving professional success. One of them is self-imposed, yet reinforced by the larger culture. It is the hesitancy […]

10 Things To Know About Passover

On the evening of March 25, people around the world will begin the Passover holiday. They will sit down for a Passover meal known as a seder, with small book known as a hagaddah, describing the rituals and blessing of […]

Can We Love Those Who Hurt Us?

The most repeated commandment in the entire Old Testament is “You shall not oppress the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” It is recited in daily Jewish prayer, and describes lesson of the Israelite experience of […]

What Everybody Ought to Know about Passover: A Series

In less than a month, Jews around the world will set down for a special meal known as a Passover Seder. Begun more than 3000 years ago, as the Jewish people prepared to leave Egypt, the Seder is one of […]

Previous Posts

Will God Condemn Brittany Maynard for Choosing to Die?
On the most sacred Jewish holiday of the year--Yom Kippur--we literally imagine our own funeral. Men traditional wear a white sash that will also serve as their burial shroud. The purpose is to picture our own death in a way that helps us live ...

posted 10:06:23pm Nov. 02, 2014 | read full post »

The Strange Book of the Bible We Read in Sukkot
Tonight begins the Jewish “Festival of Tabernacles.” Known in Hebrew as Sukkot, we spend time in  temporary outdoor dwellings. They remind us of the fragility of life our ancestors experienced during their journey across the Sinai ...

posted 3:57:40pm Oct. 08, 2014 | read full post »

When a Rabbi Announces He is Gay
Religious leaders are public figures. We live on display. People look at what we drive, what we eat, what we ...

posted 8:01:44am Oct. 08, 2014 | read full post »

Is 75 the Perfect Age to Die?
Dr. Ezekiel Emauel, the well-known bioethicist and brother of the mayor of my town, argued recently in an essay in the Atlantic Monthly that 75 is the perfect age to die. After that, he said, most people have little to contribute to society and ...

posted 9:02:23pm Oct. 05, 2014 | read full post »

Yom Kippur: The Happiest Day of the Year
Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It is filled with solemn prayer, and most Jews fast. How, then, can it be the happiest day of the year? Allow me to explain... Picture the scene: It is 1944, in Glasgow, Scotland, in ...

posted 1:29:44pm Oct. 03, 2014 | read full post »

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