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Closeup of the upper half of the Statue of Liberty against a blue sky with clouds

Like parents of most American teenagers these day, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack of Hamilton a lot. I’m not an expert on this musical, but I know it well enough to embarrass my kids whenever I try to sing it.

The other night, I sat down with my daughter to write a parody based on one of its songs, “You’ll Be Back,” for the bar mitzvah of a family friend. Back in April, two students at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (in Philadelphia, of course) made their Hamilton-themed Haggadah available just in time for...

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Transgender symbol painted on young person's palm

One of my earliest memories of queerness happened at home, watching TV with my mom. There was a special about a transgender woman, and I was intrigued. My mom, however, was somewhat disturbed by the program, and hissed the word “disgusting” at the screen, along with a couple of choice slurs. I asked her why she was saying this, and she said that it was because being transgender was “unnatural.”

This experience was formative for me. At that moment, I began to believe that what I was wasn’t right, and shouldn’t exist. I started to make a concerted effort to hold back any feminine...

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Three middleaged women in hijab sitting in mosque pews during a service

In the wake of the 2016 election, a CBS Religion and Culture documentary called Beyond Tolerance addresses bigotry, racism, and how faith communities are working to combat them across the United States. This program first aired on Sunday, June 25, and continues to play on CBS affiliates (check local listings here), but it's now available for viewing online, as well.

In this incredible,...

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Closeup of a doctor in a white coat with a stethoscope and pens and medical tools in front pocket

First, some Jewish background. It is not surprising that Judaism provides a vision, not a detailed set of specifications, on health care. From one perspective, Leviticus 19:16 states, “You shall not stand idly by while your friend’s blood is being shed”. At the same time, the Talmud states: “if I jump into a river to save someone and lose my shirt, then I can subsequently charge them for my losses incurred through the act of kindness.”

As an internist in a practice serving...

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CLoseup of two young and cleancut men in suits with bowties as though at their wedding

Throughout June, most of the LGBTQ people I know are talking about their Pride plans: which cities, which events, which parties, which outfits, and inevitably which bad dates we’ll be awkwardly running into. After coming out in my first year of rabbinical school, I spent my first Prides decked out in a political T-shirt, waving a rainbow flag, and spending three days in a state of gay euphoria.

But in the last few years, Pride has changed. The world has changed. Politically, the Pride march has become a parade, a time when the whole world (or at least New York) seems to light up...

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