Judaism

A giant inflatable colon, for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Holy Shit

I thought: What would the rabbis say about the giant inflatable colon? As a colon cancer survivor, will I ever see shit as just shit again?

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This Way to the Gas Chambers, Ladies and Gentlemen (Auschwitz 2003)

It occurred to me that one is always imagining how one could live in Auschwitz. But almost everyone died in Auschwitz.

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Blossoms (Hadeish Yameinu)

How do I reclaim a holiday of liberation when I feel like I’ve spent the last year entrapped by a frightening cloud of uncertainty?

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Happy Birthday, Gordon and Poland!

It’s Gordon Haber’s birthday, and he’s giving you a gift. Several years back, we published his brief dispatch from Poland called “The Only Jew For Miles.” I noticed very quickly that marble is hard on the knees. Presumably, that was the point–a Christian pilgrimage is supposed to have some echo of Jesus’ agony. But I…

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Notes from DC

…immediately following the 2016 Presidential election.

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A Playlist for Seekers and Doubters

Music has consistently been a vehicle for my ponderings and prayers about and to the Divine, or lack thereof. These are a few songs that have stuck with me, organized by theme. Questioning “Doubting Thomas” – Nickel Creek The title is a dead giveaway. This plaintive tune ponders what plagues many when at the crossroads…

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Bloom Is A Jewish Name

A trio of symbolic Easter flowers, appropriated.

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Out of Orthodoxy

New books map the space between Chasidism and the outside world.

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Meet Black Judaism

“This is not some sort of act. This is what we do.”

By Sam Kestenbaum

The Rebbe

Scenes from an annual pilgrimage.

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The Praying Habit: Jewish Week!

I think I chose to attempt Jewish prayer my last week of this project because I subconsciously hoped it would be the most spiritually rewarding. I should have known better. I’ve found that anticipating or hoping for spiritual fireworks leads to the exact opposite: boredom and sometimes even frustration. So why did I have these…

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Stones As Social Media

Adapted from A History of Religion in 5 ½ Objects (Beacon Press, March 11th)

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Your Belief Here

The lack of God in Unitarianism was its saving grace for me.

Photo by Verónica Capriglioni.

Over the Rainbow

Gay Argentinians’ views on marriage, legal or not, are still shaped by forces beyond their control.

At the edge of the West Bank village of Faqqua, an Israeli soldier watches from the other side of the Green Line. Photo by Bryan MacCormack of Left in Focus.

The Hourglass

What I learned about empire in the West Bank.

Killing the Buddha

The GOP attack on Dems Jerusalem platform isn’t about the Jews…

It’s about Christians. In case you missed it, the Democratic Party dropped its longstanding insistence that Jerusalem is and will be the capital of Israel, despite the fact that most of the world doesn’t recognize it as such. Why not? Oh, the fear of setting off a never-ending, apocalyptic war. But for some of us,…

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The Failure of Nonviolence

“I guess I could just as easily be a non-practicing Jew-Bu.”

Killing the Buddha

The Hazards of Chanukah

The psychiatric hospital where I work as an interfaith chaplain has a strict holiday policy: no flammable objects and no decorations with cords on the locked wards. That means no lights on Christmas trees, battery-operated Menorahs, and tea lights How to teach preschool children for Sabbath candles. Last week, a group Jewish high-school students came…