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Imagine a world without Torah, the Jewish Bible.

On Shabbat, synagogues around the world are devastated to find their scrolls have vanished. Bible study groups find only dust on the shelves. Many are heartbroken by the sudden loss of our holy book: the Torah, the foundation of the Christian Old Testament, and a common heritage with Muslims. Civil rights leaders have lost the myths to which many turn for inspiration in dark times. The world's wisdom literature has a sudden, tragic void.

The word Torah can be...

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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...

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Pre-Shabbat in Jerusalem is digestion time. On Friday mornings in my neighborhood of Baka, the main avenue teems with voracious brunch-devourers eager to squish a weekend's worth of consumption into one extended meal. As Shabbat preparations commence and stores rush to fulfill orders for 30 hours of commercial hiatus (shops close here!), unemployed students like me seize the moment to click out of Morfix1 and into Israel. Digestion for me is 25 percent brunch and 75 percent psychology. While I scoop labne (Israeli yogurt)...

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A prayer for the people of Kansas City and the Jewish community after yesterday’s deadly violence targeting the Overland Park JCC and Village Shalom assisted living home. Here are links to two prayers for individual victims: “At the Hand of Anti-Semitism: A Yizkor Prayer” and “At the Hand of...

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In the beginning of March, I, along with some 30 congressmen and senators, was privileged to be a participant in the 2014 Congressional Faith and Politics Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Mississippi and Alabama. Beginning in Jackson, MS, we commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the “Freedom Summer,” a summer when more than 900 Caucasians joined African Americans from all over the United States to come to Mississippi and Alabama in order to register African-American voters. The Pilgrimage ended...

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