Tractate Hullin and my family

The People of the Book, we Jews have been called, and not without good reason. We worship God as we know Him by virtue of Her actions and thoughts as recorded in our Holy Books: the Tanakh (Bible) and Rabbinic Literature. Rabbi Louis Finkelstein, mid-20th century leader of Conservative Judaism, once memorably said, “When I pray, I talk to God; when I […]

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Coincidence of sermon topics and the news

Some wag once put together a graphic that melded the New York Times and a page of Talmud, as a meme suggesting that Rabbis occasionally use the Times to find ideas for sermons. Guilty as charged; I’m a daily reader and sometimes something I read in the Times gets my sermonic juices flowing. But what’s even nicer is being ahead of the […]

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Not Necessarily a Socialist But Food for Thought

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic Primary for the 14th Congressional District of New York. She is a member of Democratic Socialists of America, which aspires to abolish capitalism in favor of a state run by the workers. Move over Bernie Sanders. Better: make room, Bernie, for unabashed socialists not just running for high office, but for winning their races. I will all […]

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Between Consolation and Forgiveness

Our Jewish way of life can be defined as a series of life-in-cycles. We currently live in the cycle bracketed by Tisha b’Av and Rosh HaShana: the seven weeks (more or less) occupying the space in between have the dual spiritual tone of Consolation and Forgiveness. Consolation arrives in the wake of Tisha b’Av’s commemorating the disaster of the Holy Temple twice […]

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