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Passover

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The number of months, with God, is 12 in the Book of God, the day that He created the heavens and the earth… The month postponed is an increase of unbelief whereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make it profane, and hallow it another…

-Quran 9:36-37

The media were ready for blood during the days leading up to Yom Kippur this year, as the holiday fell on the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid el-Adha. Given the fraught atmosphere between Jews and Arabs that was created during the Gaza war this summer, there was concern that the usual small-scale Yom Kippur...

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We are right now in the midst of the journey from Passover to Shavuot. If Pesach is our moment of physical courage, Shavuot is our moment of spiritual courage. Shavuot is an encounter with God’s presence.

How would you feel if you were told, “Next week you will have the most powerful life-changing spiritual experience of your life?” Would you panic? Would you be excited? Would you be afraid?

Personally, I would be terrified. If the past is any indicator, I might even run away.

I like my life the way it is now. I don’t want to shake things up. I like order and...

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Tonight, the Israel Religious Action Center is hosting its first-ever Mimouna celebration.

Mimouna is one of five national holidays created after the founding of Israel in 1948. This traditional Moroccan Jewish celebration marks the return to eating chametz after nightfall, on the last day of Passover. Not many people know this, but originally, the Mimouna was a holiday that marked the good relations between the Jews and their Muslim neighbors in Morocco. At the end of the Passover holiday, the Jews would welcome all visitors back into their homes and their Muslim neighbors would...

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For as long as I can remember (and even longer, as evidenced through old photos!), I have sat around a table the first night of Passover with a large group of family. From the small dining room at my grandparents’ house to the little-bit-larger dining room in my parents’ home, to the even-larger family room at our old home in Lexington, MA, and finally to the combined dining/family room referred to by our contractor as "the seder room" at our home in Cambridge, MA. The room has always been full – sometimes so full that it felt like the walls must be made of elastic.

This year we...

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I choose to believe that we all have been enslaved at some point in our lives. Perhaps we have been chained to our fears, worries, and doubts. We may have faced addictions, coped with hardship, and sunk to the lowest depths of all that keeps us down. I also believe that we can overcome our bondage with the love and support of friends and family, the glimmers of hope and light that shine upon us when we need it most. With the awareness that we might be slaves, we can stand up to our "inner Pharaohs" and demand as Moses did: Let me go.

This Passover, I will travel to San Francisco...

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