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  • July-17
  • July-17

    There is a photograph of John Lewis, taken in March, 1965, at the front of five hundred marchers coming over the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, head high, walking straight into what he knew was the eye of the storm. State troopers were prepared — and indeed ordered — to attack the marchers on that bloody Sunday …

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  • June 28
  • June 28

    As my wife and I complete our fourth month of self-isolation and social distancing, we, along with all New Yorkers, look forward to an appropriate easing of the essential restrictions that were necessary to turn back the marauding devastation of the Covid-19 plague …

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  • June 21
  • June 21

    Last week I wrote about prophets before their time, but there is more to be said about prophesy itself. Jewish history contains a tableau of both genuine and false prophets. Swept as he was into the vortex of political upheaval in the seventh century BCE, the great prophet Jeremiah vehemently railed against those he considered false prophets …

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  • June 14
  • June 14

    These past weeks have been sad and hopeful, as well as difficult and inspiring. Against the backdrop of the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and other black men and women, there has been a swelling wave of national self-appraisal and reflection, even attempts at reconciliation — all of which were a long time coming and all of which still have a long way to go …

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  • June 7
  • June 7

    When Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was asked upon his return from the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march with Dr. Martin Luther King, “Did you find time to pray?” he famously answered, “I prayed with my feet.”

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  • May 31
  • May 31

    The Jewish Festival of Shavuot was celebrated this past Friday and Saturday. Shavuot traditionally commemorates Moses and the Israelites receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai …

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  • May 28
  • May 28

    Shavuot, which begins the evening of May 28, celebrates the giving of the Torah to Moses and the Israelites at Mt. Sinai. Fifty days after leaving the pain of slavery in Egypt, the Israelites stood shoulder to shoulder as a free people at the foot of the mountain …

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  • May 24
  • May 24

    I hope that, along with all of you, I am an unabashed patriot believing in the resilience of this nation to mindfully meet the expectations the founders of this country set for it …

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  • May 17
  • May 17

    In synagogues around the world, a section of the Torah was read last week which included instructions for the preparation of the oil which was to be used to light the candelabra that would burn continuously from morning to night …

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  • May 10
  • May 10

    In his extraordinary, and now iconic, poem “Life is a Journey” Rabbi Alvin Fine (z”l) wrote:

    Birth is a beginning
    And death a destination.
    And life is a journey…

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  • May 3
  • May 3

    I’ve been thinking about empathy a great deal these past months. Perhaps it’s an unexpected consequence of social distancing and self-isolation which provides greater opportunity for the extravagance of free-floating ideas and uncircumscribed introspection …

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  • April 26
  • April 26

    This past Tuesday we observed Yom HaShoah (Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day) during which we memorialized the victims of the Holocaust. We commemorated, as well, the abiding spirit of heroism and courage which infused many of those victims to the very last moment when, without forsaking the core of their humanity, they died in the gas chambers …

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  • April 19
  • April 19

    Throughout our history Jews have recited special prayers “for the welfare of the government.” The biblical prophet Jeremiah wrote from Jerusalem in the sixth century BCE, “Seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray to the Lord in its behalf …

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  • April 12
  • April 12

    In his classic work When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote, “God does not cause our misfortunes. Some are caused by bad luck, some are caused by bad people, and some are simply an inevitable consequence of our being human and being mortal, living in a world of inflexible natural laws …

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  • April 5
  • April 5

    This is a season of rebirth and messianic longing both for Christians and Jews.

    We human beings sometimes yearn for unreasonable responses to our prayers. We ask for quick cures, a miraculous turn of improbable events, even world peace …

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  • April 2
  • April 2

    Note: Today’s Thought for the Day comes to us from Bronfman Center Director of Jewish Education Rabbi Samantha Frank.

    Why Psalms? Why Now? Why Robert Alter’s translation?

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  • March 29
  • March 29

    I was recently reminded of the lesson a beloved and gentle professor of mine taught about the Biblical prophets. He said their message was “Despair is a sin and hope is a duty.” Now, millennia later, this prophetic teaching emerges as an extraordinary lesson for us all. Among COVID-19’s collateral damage, hope should not be a victim

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  • March 22
  • March 22

    This is an unsettling time. Often, we’re exhausted by the end of the day, worn out by anxiety, hypersensitive to every cough we hear, and aware of every person on the street

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Please note that all 92Y regularly scheduled in-person programs are suspended.