Always remember Wrongs against other people Are wrongs against God Numbers 5:6-7: When a man or woman commits any wrong toward a fellow man, thus breaking faith with God, and that person realizes his guilt, he shall confess the wrong that he has done. According to Torah, people were created b'tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. It is the first thing we are told about the first people (Genesis 1:26-27). The verse above, from this week's portion, helps us to remember how our behavior towards others should reflect our understanding of that early Torah lesson.
I sometimes think that my teenagers have a more demanding schedule than I do. They are in the classroom for eight hours every day, and spend their afternoons filled with multiple extracurricular activities, homework, and managing the numerous pressures and challenges of being a teenager. They often enter our synagogue with backpacks so filled that its compartments are halfway open and papers are sticking out. They are constantly going from one thing to the next, and obligations and expectations that are laid upon them only slow them down.
Indeed, our lives as adults may be hectic,...Read More
One year ago, our families were thrust into a nightmare beyond anything we could have ever imagined.
Our sons, Eyal Ifrach, Gil-ad Shaer, and Naftali Fraenkel, had been kidnapped while making their way home from school. For 18 (chai) days, we hovered somewhere between despair and hope while we prayed for their safe return home.
Tragically, that safe return would not come to be. Our boys joined the thousands before them who lost their lives as Jews and in the name of our ancient homeland.
During that period of uncertainty we all shared an intense sense of unity...Read More
The Reform Jewish community, via the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) and the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), are partnering with a broad coalition of national organizations to promote “Wear Orange,” a new national campaign to end gun violence in America. As part of the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, the campaign is asking supporters to wear orange as a sign of solidarity and commitment to change in...Read More
Twenty-five years ago, I interviewed six rabbinic students at the New York campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion "to find out what's on the minds of our future spiritual leaders." Recently, the Union for Reform Judaism's chairman, Stephen Sacks, proposed that we catch up with the six to find out where they are now, both in terms of their careers and how their thinking may have changed on some of the critical issues facing the rabbinate and congregational life.... Read More
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