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Feet and ankles of a person lying in a hammock

Shabbat is a radical, transformative idea.

In the ancient world, there were no weekends; most people worked seven days a week. Even those who lived more leisurely lives, like Pharaoh or the Mesopotamian rulers, had rigid roles to carry out and from which there was no break.

Then along came the Jews, with our peculiar creation story. Unlike any other creation narrative, ours begins as follows:

When God began to create heaven and earth – the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water— God said...

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Protest sign reading PROTECT OUR HEALTH

The next two weeks could determine the future of the American health care system for decades. Some members of the Senate are aiming to vote on a health care bill similar to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House-passed repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), by next Friday, June 30.

The...

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Well worn cover of cookbook: Crisco Recipes for the Jewish Housewife

I have always been the cook in our family and during the last two years, I’ve started to branch out into baking. After I found myself covered in flour and raw dough one too many times, I told my wife that my fondest dream was one day to own a KitchenAid stand mixer.

At about the same time, a congregant gave me a cookbook she had rescued from her mother’s papers. Flipping through its tattered, yellowing pages, printed in both English and Yiddish, I’d noticed that the key ingredient in each recipe was Crisco. A little online sleuthing revealed that in 1933, the Crisco Company had...

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Rabbi Fred Guttman and Rabbi Lucy Dinner wearing Jewish prayer shawls while marching in a rally

There’s been a very interesting debate among rabbis recently concerning the issue of politics on the pulpit.

One side, Rabbi David Wolpe argues that politics, in any form, have no place on the pulpit. The other side of the debate, articulated by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, says it’s rabbis’ moral imperative to speak out against injustice, regardless whether its source originates in the political or...

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Man wearing a straw hat standing on the edge of a Bienos Aires marina looking at the boats

America and Israel loom large in the contemporary Jewish world. Conversations about global Judaism tend to focus on one or the other, or the connection between the two, but rarely touch on the other thriving, vibrant Jewish communities around the globe. If the Northeast Corridor is modern day Babylon, and Jerusalem is, well, modern-day Jerusalem, what of the rest of the Jewish world? What of the Jews of my hometown Tacoma, WA, or the Jews of Wellington, New Zealand?

Thanks to a generous program put together by the Joint Distribution Committee, I...

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