Tonight, Jews observe the first night of Passover. Sunday, Christians celebrate Western Easter. Christians will declare, “He is risen.” For a week, Jews will forego eating anything risen—bread, bagels, cake. Calls will go out to unify Jews and Christians by following the commandment in Leviticus to love thy neighbor. There’s a paradox here.  Linked as…

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Israelis have given Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu a fifth term. Last Tuesday, his Likud party won 36 of the Knesset’s (parliament’s) 120 seats, main rival Blue & White 35. President Reuven Rivlin will call on Bibi to form a coalition government. So? Bibi was all about security and Israel as a Jewish state. Last…

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The January 25 issue of J! The Jewish News of Northern California reported on Jews of color rising to take their places in the Jewish community. I applaud this. But the article also made me nervous. Yes, Jews of color have faced difficulties in a religious and cultural world led by Ashkenazim—Jews of European descent (like me).…

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Ten days ago, I and several members of Congregation Sherith Israel met to determine how to present programs on Israel. Regarding the Palestinians, we face a challenge. A January 19 New York Times  column by Michelle Alexander demonstrates the issue’s difficulty. Our synagogue—and we as individuals—support Israel’s right to exist. But the question of Israeli…

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’Tis the season when most Americans embrace Christmas. But not all. I have no intention of putting a damper on Christmas to explain the challenges this holiday presents American Jews. I’ll start, as in the recent past, with a comic strip—this time, “Luann” by Greg Evans. On November 29, Evans began a new storyline. A…

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