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Aaron Torop

Pair of hands painted to resemble the Earth forming a heart

In biblical Judaism, every seventh year was considered a shmita year. During this year, crops would not be planted, debts were forgiven, slaves were freed, and every 49th year land ownership was relinquished. In modern times, we understand shmita as a release, an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to being good stewards of God’s creations and to correct the inequalities we perpetuate.

While the next shmita year is not until Rosh HaShanah 5782 (or September 2021), 5779 has already been a year of reckoning around our responsibility to give the Earth a rest from the constant...

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Photo by Josh Barwick on Unsplash

In biblical Judaism, every seventh year was considered a shmita year. During this year, crops would not be planted, debts were forgiven, slaves were freed, and every 49th year land ownership was relinquished. In modern times, we understand shmita as a release, an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to being good stewards of God’s creations and to correct the inequalities we perpetuate.

While the next shmita year is not until Rosh Hashanah 5782 (or September 2021), 5779 has already been a year of reckoning around our responsibility to give the Earth a rest from the constant...

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Explosion

On February 1, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally announced a six-month notice of a complete withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. This follows President Trump's October 2018 announcement of his intention to withdraw and failed meetings between the U.S. and Russia to salvage the treaty. The European Union, Russia, and members of Congress from both parties criticized this announcement

Why does the INF Treaty Matter?

President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the INF in 1987 as the Cold War neared its end. (General Secretary...

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Smoke billowing from a tower against a sunset

This year, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Tu Bishvat (the Jewish "New Year of the Trees") both occur on January 21, 2019, and the 15th of Shvat 5779. While many people are already familiar with the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, more severe wildfires and hurricanes, species loss, ocean acidification, water pollution, food insecurity, and increasing health problems, fewer people recognize that communities of color are often the most severely impacted.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is one example. Since 2014, Flint has not had safe water to drink...

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Crises often continue long after they disappear from the headlines, and the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people in Burma is no exception. That is why we are joining with our partners* on Erev Shabbat, December 7, 2018, to dedicate the 6th candle of Hanukkah to the Rohingya people of Burma. We hope you will join us.

Since August of 2017, a campaign of ethnic cleansing has forced over 700,000 Rohingya men, women, and children to flee from Burma to Bangladesh, where they remain in refugee camps with an uncertain future. The Rohingya people have faced decades of discrimination by...

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