Learning, Living and Blogging: #Patheos5Yrs Later

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The first time I was introduced to Patheos was when I met Leo Brunnick, a founder and CEO of Patheos, when he came to present to the Harvard University Chaplains in 2012. I was a Jewish chaplain at the university at the time and was quite impressed with his passion, vision and determination to build an interactive, engaging online space for both intrafaith and interfaith dialogue and learning. I felt inspired by his presentation and asked him to become a blogger for Patheos and was quite pleased … [Read more...]

Newtown and a Jewish Reflection on Gun Control

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It was only a few weeks after my family and I moved to Denver to assume the position of senior rabbi at a synagogue just a few miles from Aurora that the horrific massacre at the movie theater occurred. Our television screens and laptops were inundated with the life stories of the victims and the images of so much grief and destruction. I wrote an article back then for The Denver Post calling on all people of faith and good conscience to affirm the sacredness of all life as a response to the … [Read more...]

The Thread That Binds Us All

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed a change in name from "Torah From The Square" to "Torah From The Rockies" and the reason is because my family and I have transitioned to new positions in Denver, Colorado. For the past three years I served as the full time rabbi of the Harvard Hillel in Cambridge, Mass. and it was there that I developed close relationships with students, community members and faculty. It was a tremendous experience and I feel blessed for the memories I will carry … [Read more...]

The Righteous Mind

The Righteous Mind

I recently finished reading Professor Jonathan Haidt's new book The Righteous Mind and found it to be utterly fascinating. The objective of the book is to present readers with a nuanced psychologically based reason for why people of good will and character differ so sharply and so strongly on critical issues. He specifically draws our attention to the subjects of religion and politics but his theory could be applied to any subject on which people passionately and vigorously disagree.This is … [Read more...]

Conversion As An Act of Kindness

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Conversion to Judaism is noble process that represents a person's desire to find shelter under the wings of the Divine Presence as manifested through the unique pathway of the Covenant at Sinai.1 For a long period of Jewish history it took quite an exceptional person indeed to seek out conversion to Judaism. Jews lived in bitter and harsh conditions, suffering persecution and discrimination at the hands of almost every country they found themselves in. Hence, the Talmud teaches that when a … [Read more...]

Is George Zimmerman Jewish?

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If one begins typing into Google Is George Zimmerman... the first suggestion that pops up is Jewish. The question of the Jewishness of the man who shot to death Trayvon Martin in Florida seems to be a quite popular inquiry. Indeed, news outlets from The Washington Post to Tablet Magazine have considered the question. This, however, is by far missing the point. In fact, it is as far from the point as is possible.There are many debates to be had about this constantly evolving case. One could … [Read more...]


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