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Slavery and Freedom

עַבְדֵי זְמָן עַבְדֵי עֲבָדִים הֵם – עֶבֶד אֲדֹנָי הוּא לְבַד חָפְשִׁי: Slaves of time are slaves of slaves; Only God’s slaves are free. Rabbi Yehudah Halevi All I wanted to do during my teenage years was to break free from my jail. I thought

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Vayigash: Teaching of Non-Duality

This week’s Torah portion, vayigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27) is the third weekly Torah portion devoted to Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son. At this stage of the story, Joseph serves as Pharaoh’s viceroy and is the de-facto ruler of Egypt. In last week’s Torah portion, Joseph’s brothers,

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Dying The Hindu Way

At the end of last year (2017) and beginning of this, my wife Lisa and I spent some weeks in India, on a pilgrimage of sorts. It was a journey that left us enriched and deeply impacted, and will take a long time to

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Taking Responsibility from Within

These days it is in vogue, in certain circles, to speak with anger about Trump. Everywhere you go it’s Trump, Trump, Trump, with email accounts flooded with petitions against him of all kinds, Facebook posts of yet another indication of how terrible he is,

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In Memory of Abbaleh (Daddy)

My father, Zvi Harmelin, was born on Nov 2 1917; had he been with us today, we would have celebrated his 100th Birthday. I’m trying to imagine how he would have looked at 100. Surely, he would have appeared to be quite different than he

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The Path of a Foster Mom

As part of our preparation to become adopting parents, my wife, Lisa, and I have been speaking to many foster and adopting parents across the country. So many people have inspired us with their heroic, yet matter-of-fact selflessness. Tamar Fox is one of them;

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We’re Adopting

Yes, we’re Adopting. If I was Politico or Washington Post, I’d call this blogpost: “Breaking: We’ve Decided to Adopt.” It’s breaking for us—breaking inertia, breaking our frame of reference, breaking how we think about ourselves and about our lives. It’s breaking our life as

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Religious Practice as Activism?

For years, and religious dialog in our society has been usurped by right-wing ideologues. This it true in both in the USA and in Israel. The following cartoon is an excellent commentary of what religious “dialogue” has devolved into: In response to the religious

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