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During the current Hebrew month of Kislev (November and December), we will celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, and Diwali, a Hindu festival of lights, together here in southern Israel.

At this darkest time of year, as the days get shorter and the nights longer, a gloom settles upon us. Ancient peoples created a mythical monster who swallowed the sun earlier every day to explain the darkness, which caused great fear and uncertainty, forcing the people to pose this difficult question: Can we say for certain that the sun will rise tomorrow morning?

As our own cycle of violence and...

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I recently had the privilege of preaching at a church in Neumünster, Germany, named after the great Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Bonhoeffer was a brilliant student who turned away from a promising career as a professor of theology to instead live the teachings of Jesus’ life among everyday people as a pastor. He actively opposed Hitler even before he took office and through all 12 years of his reign.

Opportunities to escape Hitler came to Bonhoeffer from prestigious institutions in New York and London, but like Moses at the Burning Bush, Bonhoeffer could not...

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Censored Voices, winner of the 2015 Ophir Award (Israel’s Oscars) for best documentary, is based on previously suppressed taped audio recordings of Israeli soldiers – all kibbutzniks – recounting their experiences just days after returning from the battlefields of the June 1967 war.

Their stories are raw and unfiltered. There is no passage of time to soften their tribulations or alter their memories through the lens of patriotism or cynicism.

The film – which was released in the United States on Friday – features two...

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On November 14, May Peleg, a leader and activist in the Israeli LGBT community, took her own life at the age of 31.

Those, like me, who knew May personally, remember her for her tireless dedication to the LGBT community, for her political and social activism, and for her passion and energy. May was the first transgender chairperson of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH) and the owner of Jerusalem's only LGBT nightclub, the Mikveh.

The last time I saw her...

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In a 1989 interview for Reform Judaism magazine, I asked Amos Oz, one of Israel’s best-known writers and peace activists, about the role of the writer in society.  

“In the West,” he explained, “especially in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, writers and poets are regarded as fine and subtle entertainers at best. In the Jewish tradition, they are regarded, rightly or wrongly, as heirs of the prophets.” Because it's a conversation so relevant to today's world, I wanted to share it again now.

Reform Judaism magazine: How does that translate...

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Welcome to the blog, your online hub for news and views of Reform Jewish life.

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