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Spa towel, candles, rocks, and green leaves arrayed against a wood backdrop

Many recent Torah readings center around the importance of sacrifice in Jewish tradition. Although we no longer observe the ritual laws of the ancient Israelites, these sections raise crucial questions about what sacrifice means as we move through today’s world.

One ritual mentioned in the Torah portion Vayikra is the "sacrifice of well-being," or sh'lamim (Leviticus 3:1). Although this word is often translated as "wholeness" or "peace," I find the word "well-being" to be particularly powerful...

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Two hands, painted like a globe, forming a heart

I developed a new habit after moving to the Virgin Islands last summer. After two Category 5 hurricanes, it is one I am sure will stay with me forever: playing prophet. It starts the moment a blip appears in the ocean – whether a continent or a hemisphere away. Seeing a dot appear off the coast of Africa, I, and those who have lived here much longer, automatically track it, constantly speculating on its path.

At its core, this enterprise is no different than the one I play when reading the daily newspaper. Which story, I wonder, will we remember a decade from now? Which screaming...

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Right hand index finger making concentric circles in a light-filled pond

Two weeks before Passover, everything in Israel comes alive as if awakening from a coma. After a broiling summer, a short fall, and a dry winter, everyone enters a Pesach state of mind: Store windows are dressed in white, fields of wild yellow flowers fill the outskirts of the cities, kindergarten children practice the Four Questions, and donation centers overflow with goods. The one question everyone asks is, “Where are you going for...

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Headshot of a smiling Marques Hollie against a black backdrop

Marques Hollie, 32, has created a Passover performance piece called “Go Down Moshe” at the intersection of what he describes as “the shared otherness of American Jews and people of color.” I recently caught up with Marques to hear more about this project and his Jewish journey. What was your earliest experience with religion?

Marques Hollie: I was raised primarily in Bellevue, NE, which is not exactly teeming with diversity. We didn’t talk...

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Teens with march signs in front of the Capitol Building

When Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel returned from the south after marching from Selma to Montgomery, AL, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he was asked if he had had time to pray while he was away. “I prayed with my feet,” Rabbi Heschel responded.

This Shabbat, thousands of Reform Jews, led by the young leaders in NFTY: The Reform Jewish Youth Movement, will pray with their feet in marches and rallies in Washington, D.C., and other cities across the U.S., urging Congress to take action for...

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