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I'm in one of those places: stuck, prickly, at the very edge of letting go, trembling with the effort to not tip over the edge into the abyss of the unknown, desperate to take that final leap of faith and soar towards light and wholeness. I am astounded, as always, when I think how inextricably intertwined my fear and my faith have become. I have heard that fear is an absence of faith, but I don’t think so. I am too intelligent – and God is too intelligent – to demand blind faith like that, to insist that faith is a guard against fear.

Fear keeps the lights on at night and smells...

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Charleston was founded in 1670, and the earliest known reference to Jews in the English settlement is a description dating from 1695. Soon thereafter other Jews followed, attracted by the civil and religious liberty of South Carolina and the ample economic opportunity of the colony. These pioneers were sufficiently numerous by 1749 to organize the present congregation, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, (Holy Congregation House of God) and, fifteen years later, to establish the now historic Coming Street Cemetery, the oldest surviving Jewish burial ground in the...

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“Deflategate,” the controversy surrounding the New England Patriots that has made national news, made its way to a Houston business conference led by a rabbi.

Rabbi Yossi Grossman, dean of the Jewish Ethics Institute, on Monday transformed the football prattle into a high-minded look at ethics on the playing field in his bimonthly talk before some city businesspeople. To make his points, he cited the Exodus story, Talmud, the rabbinic authority Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the Code of Jewish Law and prohibitions against theft of...

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Years ago, on a cold and sparkly winter afternoon, I sat with my younger sister in the living room, both of us savoring the long, dark pods of chewy bokser we had saved from our Tu BiSh’vat celebration at Religious School. For us, the smell and taste of this exotic food had become synonymous with our yearly celebration of Tu BiSh’vat, along with the personalized certificates for the trees we’d planted in Israel.

Recently, I wondered if I could find that familiar Tu BiSh’vat treat. Not sure if “bokser” was just my...

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I have often felt rather lonely in my work in peace-building through interreligious dialogue in Israel. Last week I was privileged to be part of a larger group of Jews and Palestinians who have not given up and are still seeking peace in Israel in new and creative ways.

It happened, of all places, at Bar Ilan University, the university of Religious Zionism in Israel, just outside of Tel Aviv. As part of an international conference on “Bridging Theory and Practice of Creative Conflict Engagement”, I participated in a special workshop for 30 theoreticians and practitioners (I am in...

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