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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’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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Still from the film Just Mercy showing Michael B Jordans character comforting the character played by Jamie Foxx

I recently had the opportunity to watch the film Just Mercy, based on the powerful autobiography by Black lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. The film is now available for digital release (a bit earlier than originally expected), and it’s well worth the watch.

Starring Michael B. Jordan as Stevenson, the film tells the incredible story of his fight...

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Somber male doctor looking over his shoulder while wearing scrubs and a face mask

I run the Squirrel Hill Health Center, a nonprofit federally funded community health center in Pittsburgh. My organization is one of 1,400 federally funded community health organizations, which serve 29 million people across the United States. We are truly on the front lines in this quite horrific and shocking moment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many people have asked me what it feels like in the trenches. The answer? We feel very much alone.

The Squirrel Hill Health Center serves...

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