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My Celebration of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) 5775

May 18, 2015
My Celebration of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) 5775

Jerusalem has been fought over for the last 3,000 years. Every few hundred years some other group comes along and raises their flag and makes their architectural mark. Then some other group comes along and takes it away. Over the last 3,000 years this city has been ruled by Judeans, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Hasmoneans,...
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Emor 5774 – Don’t Use God’s Name as a Weapon

April 29, 2014
Emor 5774 – Don’t Use God’s Name as a Weapon

And the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the people of Israel; and this son of the Israelite woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp; And the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed. …Leviticus 25:10-11   God does...
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Beshalach 5774 – Taking the long way

January 9, 2014
Beshalach 5774 – Taking the long way

The baby who would have been my second grandchild – Luke Joseph Patton – was born and died more or less simultaneously this morning. As I was thinking about this short, and in its own way perfect life, I was reminded of something from this week’s Torah reading – the thing I come back...
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Rabbi David Hartman, ztz”l

February 25, 2013
Rabbi David Hartman, ztz”l

The Jewish world has lost a prophet. And we don’t have enough prophets these days, so the loss is keenly felt. Many people speak with a “prophetic voice,” but for me Rabbi Professor David Hartman was a mamash prophet. Brilliant, inspired, passionate, pushing us to do better, pushing Israel to do better. He died...
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Vayishlach 5773 – the Holiness of Jacob

November 26, 2012

Jacob is a role model for balancing the spiritual and physical. In this week’s Torah reading, Vayishlach, Jacob prepares for an encounter with his brother Esau both physically and spiritually. On the physical level he prepares for war and engages in diplomacy—dividing his camp and sending gifts. And on the spiritual level he prays....
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Life in a War Zone

November 17, 2012
Life in a War Zone

OK, “Life in a War Zone” is something of an exaggeration. One rocket that landed six miles from my home and caused no damage to anything or anyone doesn’t exactly make Jerusalem a “war zone.” My wife and I went out to dinner this evening and the crowds may have been a little thinner...
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