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February 3, 2023
STANDING AT THE TREMBLING MOUNT

The Jewish community understands how we must bring our imaginations to the task of interpretation. Many verses are pregnant with implications only visible to those prepared to picture what’s going on in Scripture. The text is music in our ears when we pay attention to what it says and to what it leaves unsaid. As […]

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January 2, 2023
THE VESTIBULE, THE BELL, AND THE VISITOR

I grew up over a Brooklyn storefront. My Aunt Angela’s dressmaker shop was on the ground floor. My family lived two flights up, my aunt and uncle under us.   The building had a vestibule, which Webster defines as “a  passage, hall, or room between the outer door and the interior of a building.” My childhood […]

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November 13, 2022
THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA

If we are honest with ourselves, we will change the name of the United States of America. The Divided States of America seems more fitting.  Many, perhaps all of us, would agree we are living in a nation divided against itself. We have a problem. It is far more profound than our division, which is only […]

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November 3, 2022
IS BIGGER ALWAYS BETTER?

Bigger is not always better, except with Sumo wrestlers.  WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? Smaller groups are better than big congregations in one crucial way. Read on and find out more! We call the bigger gatherings, Great Commotion Congregations. WHAT IS A GREAT COMMOTION CONGREGATION? Great Commotion Congregations assume bigger is always better. Therefore, Great Commotion […]

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October 23, 2022
Is Discipleship a Boat to Nowhere?

If you expect disciples to dress bad, smell bad, and spout irrelevant archaic babble, you've got company. Nowadays, in some circles, being a disciple is about as popular as being a pimp. But that's all a lot of bad press for something magnetic you wouldn’t want to miss. WHY IT MATTERS Disciples are meant to […]

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August 16, 2021
6 Gifts From The Man From Outside

Yeshua of Nazareth was and remains utterly unique. He alone, of all who ever lived, is the Man from Outside. Although he was born of the womb of a woman, like all of humankind, he came from outside. When praying at an extensive meeting with his disciples prior to his crucifixion, he alluded to this, […]

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August 9, 2021
Tzedakah: The Righteousness of Generosity

When we live out of a strong religious tradition, and we all should, we function as a counterculture in the midst of the world. From our very beginnings, we Jews were called to be a counterculture, and Yeshua’s people were likewise called to be a counterculture, lights in the world contrasting with the world around […]

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July 13, 2021
Five Ways to Improve Your Life By Improving Your Fit

Chances are, one of your key laments is trying to fit things into your busy schedule. There is only so much time, and you always have more to do than you have time for. Sometimes you get discouraged, and sometimes you even beat yourself up a little. All of this gets you nowhere. At least […]

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May 25, 2021
What is Empowered Judaism? And How Does It Compare With Today's Messianic Judaism?

Kaunfer, Rabbi Elie, Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights), 2010. Elie Kaunfer is the son of a pulpit rabbi. He never planned to become a rabbi himself, but he changed his mind due to following his passion to create an intense prayer-based egalitarian community […]

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February 11, 2021
Dear Rabby: I Think My Step-Father Is A Bigot

This letter and response is part of a weekly advice column featured in our Shabbat Home Discussion Guide, Shulchan Shelanu. This week's letter involves bigotry, how it looks, what it costs, and what Jews ought to do about it. Dear Rabby, I hate to say this, but I think my step-father is a bigot. He […]

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