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Encountering God in the “In-Between”

Richard Lederman

How fitting it was for the Sh’ma editors to open this month’s edition with Shoshana Olidort’s piece, “On First Encountering Doubt.” Doubt seems to be one of several leitmotifs that weave through these articles. While it may seem odd, what first comes to my mind is Pope Francis. About a year ago, a papal interview More »

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2014
Sep
16

First Encounters With Work

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

I wasn’t prepared. After enjoying the benefits of childhood, (being served prepared meals, having my material needs provided for, and being nurtured, etc.) how was I supposed to go and start looking for work? However, after realizing that I needed to fill open time in my schedule and that I needed to have my own More »

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2014
Sep
08

Encountering Israel

Yael Roberts

There are two empty seats next to me on the plane. This makes the plane ride to Israel comfortable, but the nagging discomfort is there too, knowing that fewer people are traveling at this time. I toss and turn between comfort and discomfort, my stomach churning all eleven hours, a back and forth. The waves More »

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2014
Sep
05

Cousins…

Franny Silverman

August 19, 2014 To my distant cousin David, I know your grandfather, Sherman. He is one of my grandmother’s favorite cousins. And while I don’t know him well, if I caught his eye at a family celebration across a buffet of chopped liver, I’d know it was him, I’d know his name to be Sherman. More »

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2014
Sep
02

Maths and Mosaics

Rabbi Alon C Ferency

In school, did you like math and foreign language classes? Most people hated them, but for some reason I loved both.  Frankly, it’s only since moving to Knoxville, Tennessee, and having so many scientists as congregants, that I finally came out as a math nerd.  In fact, I’m told that math, languages, and music all share More »

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2014
Aug
29

Out of Necessity: A Midrash

Caryn Aviv

My hardest question every year is how to confront the difficulties of re-reading the Akedah. The story upsets and horrifies us, but what bothers me most are the silences. Every year, I am particularly bothered by the narrative’s utter silence about Abraham’s inner emotional experience and the absence of Sarah’s voice in this pivotal Genesis More »

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2014
Aug
28

Awesome Wonders

Rabbi Joshua Bolton

This Rosh Hashanah I am wondering about forgiveness – always easier to talk about in email sermons than it is to practice with close friends and myself. And about the giant stone and the King commanding me, “Lift it upon the roof.” And about that hummus shop in Rehavia, Between Azza and Berlin. And wondering More »

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2014
Aug
27

Raya Mehemna

Rabbi Alon C Ferency

During the U’netaneh Tokef, the signal prayer of the holidays, we are enjoined to think of God k’vakarat ro’eh ‘edro, as a Shepherd reviewing God’s flock.  To place this phrase in context, it was common practice for the shepherd to account for her flock (and there is evidence that this was a profession of both More »

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