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Thanksgiving used to be a day unto itself; now we have a whole Thanksgiving season! Americans' shopping habits brought us catchily-named, add-on "holidays" like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. In the last couple of years, we’ve thankfully (no pun intended) added a new day to the mix: #GivingTuesday.

As we gather for the Thanksgiving feast with family and friends, some of us may find it difficult to be as thankful as we ought to be. We may be troubled that the prosperity we enjoy has passed over the homes of...

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Monday night, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that a grand jury had decided there was not enough probable cause to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot on August 9, 2014. In response to the decision, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Steve Fox, Chief Executive of the Central Conference of...

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As a fall semester student in NFTY-EIE High School in Israel, I participated in a Rosh Chodesh service last month at the Kotel (Western Wall). Although no service at the Kotel is ordinary, by virtue of being at the Kotel, this one was especially unique: Our group of high schoolers was invited to pray with Nashot HaKotel, Women of the Wall, an organization that has spurred great controversy because it advocates the equal right of women to pray at the Wall.

We arrived very early in the morning. The boys in our...

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In the world there are a number of beautiful things: Trees and flowers, people and landscapes,By keeping one's own eyes open, one can see at least a hundred marvels each day. Leah Goldberg, Israeli poet (1911-1970)

If you're anything like me, sometimes it feels as if life goes by at a dizzying pace, with no sign of rest in sight. Lucky for us, Jewish tradition provides us with the shmita (release or sabbatical) year, which occurs and is observed every seventh year in the state of Israel.

During the shmita year, which is this year, 5775, we are commanded not to cultivate our...

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Imagine a law that asserts that I am a woman: The Womanhood Act, a hypothetical piece of legislation. This law entitles me to the rights that women have and denies these rights to all non-women. Now imagine a different law that recognizes women as people, and gives them rights based on the equality between women and men. The first law is meaningless, serving no purpose besides aggravating a lot of men and stating what I already know, while the second law has the potential of making a real contribution. 

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