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Child running through a rainbow reflection holding a transgender rights flag

This post is adapted from Rabbi Meyer's Rosh HaShanah 5779 morning sermon. 

For our Israelite ancestors, the most important festival of the year was Sukkot, and the most widely practiced ritual was the bringing of the first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem. The Talmud recalls for us the pageantry, the colorful parades, the music and the feasting that lasted for eight straight days and nights.  An entire tractate of Talmud, in fact, is devoted to the laws and rituals of bringing the First Fruits, detailing the ornamentation of the offerings, and how the gifts would be offered by...

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Lulav and Etrog for celebrating Sukkot

 

Every year, Jews celebrate the festival of Sukkot to mark the fall harvest season and commemorate the conclusion of the Israelites’ forty-year journey through the desert after leaving Egypt. In the Book of Leviticus, God commands the Jewish people, “You shall dwell in booths for seven days…that your generations may know that I made the Children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 23:42-43). Many Jews construct a sukkah (plural sukkot), a temporary structure that is...

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This post is adapted from Rabbi Weisman's Rosh HaShanah 5779 morning sermon. 

Voting is the quintessential American act. Our Founding Fathers envisioned a nation in which We The People were ultimately at the helm, their chosen delegates entrusted to fulfill the will of the public. As James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers #57, responding to the question of who, ultimately, should be the voting public: “Not the rich, more than the poor; not the learned, more than the ignorant; not the haughty heirs of...

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Supreme Court Building

From September 4-7, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its confirmation hearing on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. As explained in the Reform Jewish Movement’s statement of opposition, Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation would threaten to roll back critical social justice advances for which, inspired by our Jewish values, we have fought so hard to achieve. The stakes are high; Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation has the potential...

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Rabbi Pesner speaks at the CBC prayer breakfast

This post is adapted from remarks offered by Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 48th Annual Legislative Conference Prayer Breakfast.

During these Jewish Days of Awe, the Highest, Holiest of days, my people blast the shofar. It is a wake up call.

The great medieval Rabbi Maimonides said the shofar’s call demands:

“Wake up you sleepers!Rise up from your sleep!Rouse yourselves, you slumberers, out of your slumber.Look closely at yourselves;Examine...

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