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Rabbi Spratt and others working with a bar mitzvah student at the lecturn on the bimah

Rabbi Benjamin Spratt serves as senior associate rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City, where he is also rabbi-in-residence of its school. Currently, he is the commentator for the Book of Leviticus in Reform Voices of Torah, part of the Ten Minutes of Torah series, which explores all facets of Jewish life and to which readers can subscribe. I asked Rabbi Spratt to tell us about his unusual Jewish journey and to share some...

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Israeli flags

Israel is a democracy that believes in free speech, but speech has consequences. According to Israeli law, those who incite to racism and violence are prohibited from serving in the Knesset. This principle was enshrined in Israeli law 18 years ago. The law was never applied - until yesterday.

Over the weekend, the Supreme Court published their decision to disqualify the candidacy of Michael Ben Ari, a known Jewish Supremacist, from running for the 21st Knesset. The ruling came in response to our petition against the decision by Israel's Central Election Commission two weeks ago to...

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A street scene with Midge Maisel

“Comedy is fueled by oppression, by the lack of power, by sadness and disappointment, by abandonment and humiliation. Now, who the hell does that describe more than women? By those standards, only women should be funny!”

– Midge Maisel

In case you haven't yet binge-watched the newest season, now’s a great time to start...

In Rachel Brosnahan’s Golden Globes acceptance speech for her performance as Midge Maisel on Season 2 of Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, her first round of...

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Movie still of an Orthodox Jewish man holding a shovel and standing atop a mound of dirt as if digging a grave

“For you are dust and to dust you shall return.” – Genesis 3:19

Most of us know the pain of losing a loved one. While Judaism provides us with a centuries-old method of mourning, each person grieves and reckons with loss in their own way. To Dust, the latest film by Reform Jewish filmmaker Shawn Snyder, discusses mourning in a way I’d never seen.

From the film’s website:

Shmuel (Géza Röhrig), a Hasidic cantor in Upstate New York, distraught by the untimely...

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Father squatting to hold toddler in open grassy expanse with mountains in the background

While the resurgent displays of outright xenophobia, racism, and misogyny in our political discourse have been profoundly distressing for me, they have also put me in closer touch with my Jewish identity. Of course, this also means coming to terms with the prejudice that has exerted such a powerful force on the Jewish experience.

Although my daughter is far too young to understand the current migrant crisis or engage with how it relates to Jewish history, my wife and I have...

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