Choosing Courage

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Kol haolam kulo gesher tzar meod. V’haikar lo lifached klal. The whole world is a very narrow bridge. The main thing is not to fear. Sung in summer camp or at youth group retreats, these words of Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav are well known. But let me point out something not so obvious. The lyrics […]

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Twistees, Technology, and T’shuva: An Elul Reflection

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A new word has entered our popular lexicon courtesy of the Olympics and Simon Biles: a twistee. A twistee occurs when a gymnast experiences a lack of alignment between their body and their mind in executing a gymnastic routine. Biles experienced this in the preliminary warm-ups of the team gymnastics competition in the Tokyo games. […]

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Minnesota Rabbinical Association Announces Leadership Changes

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We are thrilled to announce that starting July 1, 2021, Rabbi Debra Rappaport, Rabbi Tamar Magill-Grimm, and Rabbi Lynn Liberman will become co-chairs of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association. We are grateful for Rabbi Rappaport’s terrific service as vice-chair, with the plan to step into this role. Rabbi David Thomas will assume the newly created position […]

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An Understanding of Gender in the Torah from Binary to Merism

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How can I curse what God has blessed? That is what Balaam, the go to prophet-for-hire in the 13th century BCE says to the King of Moab.  We read these words in Parshat Balak in chapter 22 of Numbers (verse 18): “Bilaam replied to Balak’s officials, ‘Were Balak to give me his house full of […]

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Summer Shabbat Celebrations

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JFS Community Chaplain Rabbi Lynn Liberman, BCC, and para-chaplain and cantor Deb Winston will offer a series of three videos to celebrate Shabbat this summer.

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Israel’s Hope in the Desert

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Last week I stood in the scorching sun of the desert. I stood on the improbable grass under my feet which had a sophisticated water system, men and women working the grounds, and a splash of modern miracle. And while it might sound like this was Israel, it was rather Israel in Scottsdale, Arizona. Sports […]

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How to Talk About Israel

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Over the course of this past year, I have spent countless hours leading conversations about Israel using a curriculum called iEngage Israel. The program which was offered in a half dozen Minneapolis synagogues was sponsored by the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.  Rather than discuss the history or politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we discussed Jewish values […]

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Minnesota Rabbinical Association Letter Awaiting Chauvin Verdict

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To the Minnesota Jewish Community and Beyond:  We have counted 330 days since George Floyd was killed by former police officer Derek Chauvin. Today many of us are counting the minutes and hours with enormous heaviness and unease as we anticipate a verdict in the trial that could convict Derek Chauvin of second-degree unintentional murder, […]

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In The Twinkling of an Eye: Five Features Of The Upcoming Pandemic Transitions

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Prelude  We will soon be going through a transition. Some prefer to call it the movement towards a “new” normal. In our volume L’Dor V’Dor in the Digital Age, we call it more simply pre-pandemic, pandemic and post-pandemic. When will the transition occur? That, of course, involves prophetic powers well beyond my paygrade. Nor do I have […]

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