Channel Esther: Kol Nidre 5778

by Esther Cohen Kol Nidre is Aramaic for All Vows.  Sung, it is wildly deeply beautiful.  We all need forgiveness.   Forgive me   forgive me for arrogance for acting as though I know more than you as though I know better wanting you to do things different from your instincts you never have to go […]

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Wednesday Night Fiction: The Rabbi and the Shark

by Dan Grossman from the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents THE RABBI was terrified. Just minutes before Kol Nidre he stood in his office chanting the prayers under his breath, worrying for the twentieth time that his sermon was too high-minded, and flipping through the tall, gold-spined books on his shelf, as if he […]

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Going Solo for the Autumn Holidays

Text and Illustrations by Lawrence Bush From the Autumn 2016 issue of Jewish Currents This is the first of a series of essays about the Jewish calendar and life-cycle observances, created as part of our new Schappes Center for Cultural Jewish Life, a school-without-walls for families interested in non-theistic participation in Jewish holidays, rituals, and […]

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September 2: The Voice of the Voiceless

A video showing the beheading by ISIS of Steven Sotloff, a 31-year-old American-Israeli journalist and grandson of two Holocaust survivors, was released on this date in 2014. Sotloff broke the Benghazi story in Libya in 2012, telling CNN that U.S. media reports about the killings being associated with rioters were wrong and identifying the actual […]

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Trump’s Second Amendment Call is a Turning Point

by Alan Elsner Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made most American Jewish leaders, both secular and religious, deeply uncomfortable during his campaign for the White House. However, until now, many have stayed publicly silent on his candidacy. Trump’s intemperate talk against Muslims, women, immigrants, bereaved military families and others, as well as his campaign’s use […]

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Paris, the Pope, and the Planet

Opening the Door to 1.5º and a Carbon Market by Rabbi Judy Weiss I’M A RABBI, climate activist, and grandmother, and the way I mix these identities seems constantly to surprise my friends. In 2014 they asked: “Why go to the New York climate march just three days before Rosh HaShanah? One march won’t change […]

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September 20: Yom Kippur Anarchists’ Ball, 1893

The anarchist Yiddish newspaper Fraye Arbiter Shtime (Free Voice of Labor) sponsored its annual Yom Kippur concert and ball, “with a pleasant… and tasteful buffet,” at Clarendon Hall, 114 East 13th Street, in New York City on this date in 1893. This mass anti-religious event was met by “an estimated mob of five to six […]

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