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Battered blue mailbox against green pine trees

These excerpts of letters between and old friend and me offer a glimpse into the heart of a searching young Jew. 

Aron Hirt-Manheimer
Three people, each holding a different sign in front of their face: one depicting Islam (crescent and star), one Christianity (cross), and one Judaism (Star of David)

Something special is going on in this class: Youth and middle age. Muslim, Christian, and Jew. Arab and Israeli. Secular and religious.

Alden Solovy
Palms turned upward toward the sky with a light shining down

In theory, no one wants to be that person who can’t let go, who refuses the request for forgiveness. But is it really possible, or even right, to forgive everything?

Rabbi Alana Suskin (JTA)
open book with a pair of glasses on the page; cell phone on table next to book

As the High Holidays approach, once again I am reading S.Y. Agnon’s Days of Awe. As much as the book means to me, though, the person who gave it to me means more.

Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs
Sharpened pencil sitting on a blank notebook surrounded by pencil shavings

For children, traditions and rituals are significant; they provide predictability, support, and familiarity, while bringing families together and creating unity and a sense of belonging.

Sarah Koffler
Side view of the Washington Monument at twilight

I want to slam society against the wall and shout at the top of my lungs, “This is not right! This is not just! This is not the world that we are commanded to create"

Rabbi Joel N. Abraham
Outside view of Congregation Beth Israel building in Charlottesville, VA

When I learned there had been 400 men chanting “Jews will not replace us” on the University of Virginia grounds, my first thought was for Congregation Beth Israel.

Dahlia Lithwick
Shadowed hand holding heart-shaped figure in front of sunlight with golden grass in the background

Because this past week has been difficult for our nation and our Jewish community, it is imperative that we respond with love, inclusion, and compassion.

April Baskin
Cropped photo of smiling white man in a cream polo shirt with fingers crossed on both hands as if for good luck

Aside from a date, what can these two events possibly have in common? Strange as it may seem, there are a few points of comparison.

Audrey Merwin

Holocaust survivor, author, and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, who died on July 2, 2016, spoke with a moral authority rarely matched in his lifetime. In this critical time, we return to his 2005 words.

Aron Hirt-Manheimer

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