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Seder table with more than a dozen place settings

The past few days, Facebook has started showing me a variety of Passover memories. At the same time, here in the present, my inbox is flooded with new, innovative ways to celebrate Passover in the time of a pandemic, and friends are reaching out to ask if I have resources to share.

In preparation for my own Passover celebration, I’ve been scrounging around to try to find a few pounds of flat-cut brisket to make Gramma Margie’s Famous Brisket… for two. It’s a change, given that, in years past, I’ve made upwards of 25 pounds of brisket...

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Blurry image of a teenage boy with his hand at a metal fence

As we gather around our seder tables this year, we will reflect on our people’s liberation from the degradation of slavery in Egypt.

We recall with gratitude that many of our more immediate ancestors – or we ourselves – were offered refuge from persecution by the United States and Canada, while knowing that some in our community have also experienced the pain of discrimination in North America.

If we are to heed the call of freedom that...

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Sunset over a calm body of water

The Torah recounts that during their journey in the wilderness, the Israelites were guided by a pillar (of cloud by day and of fire by night) that represented God’s presence in their midst. When the pillar moved, they moved, and when the pillar stopped, they stopped.

It occurs to me that for a good portion of their 40-year journey, that pillar must have been stopped, guiding our ancestors to stay in place. In those moments, the purpose of the journey was not in physical walking, but in active waiting.

These times...

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Closeup of a hand strumming a guitar

Bonfires have a gravitational pull about them.

It's not solely that radiant orange warmth on a cool mountain evening or light after the sky surrenders to twilight. It's not even their talent for roasting undeniably delicious marshmallows. I think their magic lies in the dance of the flames, those blues, oranges, and whites burning bright while peacefully submitting to the will of the breeze.

Last summer, I found myself at a moment of peaceful submission, surrounded by community and warmed by fire – when I first heard the song. Jared Stein,...

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Cantor David Berger smiling and strumming a guitar

Meet Cantor David Berger, the cantor at Chicago’s KAM Isaiah Israel and ReformJudaism.org’s current Ten Minutes of Torah commentator for the Book of Leviticus.

Cantor Berger received his ordination from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in 2007 and served as the first full-time cantor of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a...

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