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Jews all over the world will begin to celebrate Passover on Friday, April 3, 2015, with a ritualized meal called the seder, a Hebrew word meaning “order” that refers to the order of the prayers that are recited and the symbolic foods that are eaten prior to a fancy meal. The purpose of the seder is to tell the story of the liberation of the Israelites from the Egyptian slavery.

Passover is a popular family holiday, primarily observed in the home. Even though rabbinic Judaism portrays the festival solely as the commemoration of the exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses,...

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We often talk at the seder about the Four Children: the Wise, the Wicked, the Simple, and the Silent children (or, as the last is often called, the Child Who Does Not Know How To Ask). We see a little of ourselves in each child as we discuss their place in the seder and how we explain to them the story of Passover. Do we tell them that we were there together at Sinai, including them in their legacy, or do we exclude them and criticize their apathy?

This year, as we consider Passover’s Four Children as we sit around the seder table, let us discover and discuss the tension between...

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Passover is full of flavors: the bitter herbs, the juicy charoset, the crunchy matzah. But what about spicy?

In 2003, then-Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl explained the intensity and the relevance of the spiciness of Passover in a short autobiographical essay published in Sh’ma. In “Kimchee on the Seder Plate,” she described how she brought her Korean lineage, via her mother, to her understanding of Jewish practice and identity. Optimistically, she concluded, “May we continue to see the many faces of Israel as a gift that enriches our people.”

At the time, Cantor Buchdahl...

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We worked until almost midnight that Thursday, the 30 of us, all middle-aged softball players, arranging tables and chairs for the funeral of a man we didn’t know terribly well. But he had died so violently, in the face of such anger, that we couldn’t stay away.

Dr. Michael Davidson played softball with only a few of us, and for only a couple of seasons. His last game as my teammate on Temple Beth Elohim’s “Bad News Jews” in the Massachusetts Shul Softball League was more than two years ago. Mike left the team when work and family obligations pulled him in other directions. We...

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The year was 1990, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ ad hoc committee on “Homosexuality and the Rabbinate” released a report affirming the decision of the Reform Jewish seminary, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), to admit openly gay and lesbian students earlier that year. Twenty five years later – on Monday, March 16, 2015 – the CCAR installed Rabbi Denise Eger as its first openly gay president, marking an historical moment for the governing body of North American Reform rabbis.

Rabbi Eger’s installation has made national news, including a...

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