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“More than the Jewish people has kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jewish people.” – Ahad Ha-am (Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg, 1856 –1927)

On most Friday afternoons during the last six years, just before turning off my computer, I peruse a starred folder in my Gmail account that most people probably don’t have: It’s my “Possible FB postings for Shabbat” file, an organic, growing anthology of quotes related to Shabbat. Many of them are borrowed from the liturgy in the Reform siddur (prayer book).

When a quote strikes me as the right one for a particular week, I make that...

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Why can’t we remember what it feels like to wear a yellow star? A number? Why can’t we imagine what it is like to be black, brown, yellow, poor, or an immigrant in America? Why can’t we feel the terror of our brother’s mental illness or our sister’s addiction? Why, oh why, can’t we imagine what it is like to be LGBT in a sea of intolerance?

Oh, America, you are breaking my heart.

What has happened to the America we have loved? Can you tell us?

When did we lose the ability to walk 40 days and 40 nights in another’s shoes? When, just when, did we lose the ability to...

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I offer this prayer of solidarity and healing after Thursday night’s Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, France. Sadly for the people of France, it’s in large part the same prayer I wrote for Paris after last year’s attacks. The closing stanza is in French. A full French version follows.

For Nice

Author of life, Man has turned violent, Killing our children, Killing our brothers and sisters, Crushing lives, Upending dreams, Attacking the heart of a democratic nation With vitriol and hatred.

Source and Creator, Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace To the...

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I first met Eva in a Temple Tots program that my wife and I conducted at our Reform congregation in a small New England town. At that time, Eva was about 3 years old and living as a boy. She is now 10 years old, and we recently saw her perform in a theater recital. Watching her perform, I never could have imagined what she’s been through – or the pain and trauma she and her parents have endured. When did you first realize that the child you and your husband adopted as an infant and converted to Judaism identified as a girl?

Eva’s Mom: When Eva was about 2...

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My dear son,

I knew something was going on with you before we dropped you off at sleepaway camp for the first time. You were distractible, cranky, and unsettled. The morning we drove to camp, you were so wound up I thought you might bounce out of the car!

But then I saw a change in you. As we arrived on the camp’s grounds and began the arrival process, you started to smile more. We found your cabin, where we met your counselors and you got to work unpacking. When it quickly became clear there was nothing left for your parents to do, you became hesitant about our leaving,...

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