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This is a prayer of solidarity and healing after Friday night’s terror attack in Paris.

For Paris

Author of life, Man has turned violent, Crushing lives, Upending dreams, Attacking the heart of a democratic nation With vitriol and hatred In coordinated acts of calculated terror.

Source and Creator, Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace To the victims of terror in Paris, Innocents murdered and wounded, Men and women whose lives were cut off by witless aggression.

Remember the survivors of this horror. Grant them shelter and solace, Comfort and...

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“You didn’t just lobby me, you educated me,” Vice President Joe Biden told more than 5,000 Jewish leaders gathered in Orlando, FL, for the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial convention.

“You reinforced everything I learned at my father’s table,” he said, thanking the Reform Jewish community for leading the way on social justice issues such as civil rights, women’s rights, gun violence prevention, marriage equality, economic inequality, and more.

Biden described his father as a righteous Christian who had expressed deep disappointment that the U.S. turned away Jewish...

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This passage is excerpted from a d’var Torah shared at the URJ Biennial convention's Shacharit service focused on tikkun olam, repair of the world.

The poet Naomi Shihab Nye tells this story:

A man crosses the street in rain, Stepping gently, looking two times north and south, because a boy sleeps on his shoulder. No car must splash him. No car drive too near his shadow. The man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo but he’s not marked. Nowhere does his jacket say fragile, handle with care.

His ears fill up with breathing. He hears the hum of a boy’s dream deep...

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Last week, Orlando, FL, was not only the home of Disneyland, but also home to one of the largest Jewish gatherings in North America - the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial convention.

The formidable Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the URJ, invited me to read a prayer for Israel before the main plenary during Shabbat services. I consulted the prayer for Israel in my prayer book. But it didn’t convey the urgency I feel for hope - lots of it - for Israel. My prayer for Israel also has to include a cry to save Israel from its religious zealots.

I am a practical, seat-of-my-...

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Many Jews claim to speak in the name of tradition, but nobody knows the true meaning of Jewish tradition.

The Hebrew word usually used to denote tradition -- masoret – appears only once in the Bible. Solitary words are very difficult to define because we often learn of a word’s meaning by investigating its repeated usage. When scholars have nothing internally to compare it with, all they have to go on is the context of its use, its grammatical root and similarity to other words, and its possible link to other languages of the ancient Near East.

I am not mentioning all this...

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