Category Archive: Rabbis Without Borders | My Jewish Learning

A Century Since Balfour: Israel and the Trap of Over-Simplifying

It’s a momentous anniversary for Israel and world Jewry. This week marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration (November 2, 1917) conveyed the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Mideast territory under British… Continue reading

Exhaling After the Holidays

Like Whitney Houston’s 1995 movie hit about four friends living through different phases of love and life, many in post-Yom Kippur life are experiencing some version of Waiting to Exhale. Some exhale with relief… Continue reading

The Way We Were – Anniversaries, September 11, and Standing Together Again

Today is the 16th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. For awhile, 9/11 changed much about how we see ourselves, each other and the world. For many, these changes are… Continue reading

Judaism’s Three Rs for the 21st Century

Decades of educators used the Three Rs as a teaching slogan. Think what we may of “reading, writing and arithmetic,” the Three Rs are a catchy enough line that most of us recognize it. The… Continue reading

In Cloud’s Shadow: Spirituality and Darkness

Is it just me, or lately do there seem to be more clouds of confusion and despair obscuring hearts, minds, communities and public discourse? As I write these words, even my East Coast… Continue reading

A Missing Friend is a Holy Clue

We all know how it feels to be sick. What I didn’t realize until recently is that what scientists call “sickness behaviors” – lethargy, self-care and social withdrawal – can have vital social… Continue reading

The Healing Sound of Silence

He was hurting. He had shared with me bad news about his personal life, and now it seemed my turn to speak. The seconds of silence while he waited were pregnant, deafening, heavy… Continue reading

A Seder for Israel?

The idea of a seder (“order”), using a haggadah (a “make-telling” text) to tell a spiritual story, is wired into Jewish life. Jews call ourselves a “People of the Book,” but first we’re a “People of the… Continue reading

Who is Worthy to Lead: The Torah of Modern Politics

This week’s Torah portion (Yitro) offers a key lesson for today’s politics. It comes just before the fateful Ten Commandments scene at Sinai. Moses father-in-law, Yitro, teaches his son-in-law how to delegate power… Continue reading

How to Be a “Player” in Jewish Life

What does it take to be a “player” in Jewish life? No, not that kind of “player.” I mean, what does it take to be a responsible and influential participant in the Jewish… Continue reading