What Can I Do to Help?

“Legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.”

No other words so perfectly capture the essence of tikkun olam (repair of the world) as those written by the late Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.  He was reflecting on a seminal moment in the fight for civil rights that took place in 1965, when he joined Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of others as they marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

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Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue

Tzedek, tzedek tirdof. 

The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg brought the biblical phrase back into modern parlance, but the pursuit of justice has always been fundamental to what it means to be Jewish. Justice is a work in progress that we should never assume is complete. ...
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How Good It Is for a Community to Come Together

We repeat the words of Psalm 133 every time we sing  Hinei Ma Tov . The oft-quoted psalm says that when all God's children live together in harmony, it will be "like precious oil poured on the head."  Civil Rights leaders have often
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The Most Important Stories Always Have a Song

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer , was the hit of the 1949 Christmas season. Ironically, songwriter Johnny Marks, who continued to produce wildly popular Christmas songs throughout the 50s and 60s, didn’t celebrate Christmas because he was Jewish.
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Have No Fear, Pinky Bloom Is Here!

A crime has occurred. Fear and suspicion grip the community. Enter a low-profile hero to follow the clues and solve the case. The detective novel is one of the most famous literary genres of all time. Not even kids can resist a good whodunit!
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When Celebrating Sukkot, ‘The More the Merrier’

During Sukkot, we are called to practice hakhnasat orchim   (hospitality to guests). It is said that on each night of Sukkot, magical guests known as ushpizin visit the sukkah. On this VIP guest list are....
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Healing the World with Two Simple Words

A child first learning to apologize, will typically hang their head low in shame, avoiding eye contact. The words “I’m sorry” will be soft and meek.  Apologizing is publically admitting to doing something wrong and causing suffering to others. The point of apologizing is to acknowledge where we have gone wrong so that we may do better going forward. Being forgiven is just the icing on the cake....
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On Rosh Hashanah, it is a mitzvah to hear the blowing of the shofar. To fulfill the mitzvah, one must truly hear the shofar. An echo doesn’t count, and neither does a recording. It is a climactic moment in the cycle of the Jewish year. 
But what if you weren’t allowed to hear the shofar blown on Rosh Hashanah? 
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Something New for Rosh Hashanah: Be Like the Moon

Before there was a set calendar for the Jewish year, the beginning of a new month would be declared by the Jewish court when the new moon emerged in the sky. To let the people know, fires would be set on hilltops.

Today, as in ancient times, the moon’s journey around the earth takes approximately 29 days. The lunar cycle, however, doesn’t start when the moon is full. The new moon that marks the beginning of the month is invisible to the human eye, filling out mid-cycle before fading away again....

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