Erev Rosh Hashanah 5778

I was sitting in my college dorm room in October of 2004. It was Game 4 of the World Series. I watched as the batter hit a comebacker to the mound and the pitcher flipped the ball to first base. The Boston Red Sox had won the World Series for the first time in 86 years. I sat in shock, unable to respond, unsure of what to do. For a moment. That moment, quickly, wore off. I knew exactly what to do. I knew how to celebrate with my friends around me. I knew to go out into the streets and cheer and shout. This was a completely new experience for me and for all those people around me. None of us had seen this happen before, and yet we all knew exactly what to do. We knew how to behave. None of us had had this experience, and yet...

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Being Present for the Pain of Others

Rosh Hashanah 5778

I was sitting in my college dorm room in October of 2004.  It was Game 4 of the World Series. I watched as the batter hit a comebacker to the mound and the pitcher flipped the ball to first base.  The Boston Red Sox had won the World Series for the first time in 86 years. I sat in shock, unable to respond, unsure of what to do.  For a moment. That moment, quickly, wore off.  I knew exactly what to do.  I knew how to celebrate with my friends around me.  I knew  to go out into the streets and cheer and shout.  This was a completely new experience for me and for all those people around me.  None of us had seen this happen before, and yet we all knew exactly what to do. We knew how to behave. None of us had had this experience, and yet...

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How to be Part of the World Around Us

A couple of weeks ago, I invited a close friend to a Martin Luther King Day event.  The event featured a number of speakers including leaders from the Black Lives Matter movement. “I can’t come with you,” she told me. “Really? Why?” I asked. “Black Lives Matter is anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.” She stated matter-of-factly. An intelligent, educated, professional who dismissed the entire organization because of one part of their platform. She was unable to see the values that she did agree with. The way Black Lives Matter works to end racial injustice and to dismantle the systems, which maintain inequality, values that I know she holds dear.  Instead she could only see the one value she disagreed with. This is something we all do far too often. We take an organization that challenges our values, the way Black Lives Matters might, when it puts in conflict two core values; a...

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