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Judaism

From time-honored traditions to modern synagogue life, your hub for Jewish learning, holidays and text.

Softening Hard Hearts? Portion Provides a Clue

We live in the space between birth and death, between death and birth. For some, the span between our entrance into and our departure...

Chosenness: Doesn’t It Imply Superiority?

"If you will obey Me faithfully and keep My covenant you shall be My treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth...
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The Opposite of Slavery Is Freedom of Naming

This Shabbat, we begin the book of Exodus -- Shemot or "Names" in Hebrew. Exodus is filled with drama: Moses demands freedom from Pharaoh,...
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What Constitutes True Nature of Freedom?

People tend to think of freedom in terms of negating a pre-existing condition. So they talk about freedom from coercion, from tyranny, from oppression,...

Tu B’Shevat Means We’re All Barking Up the Right Tree

There's something about trees. Shel Silverstein's children's book classic The Giving Tree proves the point. Trees are sustenance. They provide comfort and love, even...
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So What’s the Reason We Have to Be Kosher?

This week's Torah reading, Shemini, is one of several places in the Torah where we are given the laws of kashrut -- the guidelines...

Tu B’Shevat Seders

As a child, Eric Goldberg remembers planting trees in plastic cups and attending mini-seders as part of religious school lessons on Tu B'Shevat. Now a...

Keeping Holocaust Memory Alive, and Keeping It Sacred

For more than 2,500 years, these fast days have remained on the Jewish religious calendar, and the Book of Lamentations continues to be read...
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Why the Big Megillah?

It may be considered a minor holiday, but with its history of heroes and villains and bravery and self-dignity, Purim presents a very teachable...
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Photos Rooted in an Artistic Tradition

Over the past decade, Israeli artist Tal Shochat has scoured her homeland for the perfect cypress, plum, palm and other particular trees.Even after settling...