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Author Amos Oz with Israeli activist Anat Hoffman

Amos Oz was a world-renowned Israeli writer, whose work expresses the complexity, the tragedy, and the wonder of Israel. Oz condensed the Ten Commandants into a single commandment, "Don’t Hurt Others!" He then added that if you must, then hurt as little as possible. He was known for his warnings that extremism and violence within Israel would lead to catastrophe. He died with an intact moral compass and a broken heart.

There are great philosophical discussions about the nature of truth, but what of the nature of a lie? That, every child can easily analyze. As a lover of the Hebrew...

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US Capitol building on a sunny day

Today, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism delivered a letter to every member of the 116th Congress outlining our 2019 legislative priorities and urging them to join us in the pursuit of a more just and compassionate world. Read the full text at rac.org/116th.  

Together, with leadership from our partners in the 116th Congress and an engaged base of committed citizens, we can build an immigration system that treats all people with dignity and respect, including asylum...

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Man with his head in his hands against a dark background

Crying gets a bad rap.

I used to tease my father for crying – and then I became a parent. Suddenly, my tears fell at the drop of a hat – a new milestone reached, a sweet word shared. Reliving an experience I’d treasured as a child, but this time as the parent, especially caught me by surprise. (Why am I crying at the Children’s Symphony?)

Tears of a mother may not be so unusual, but men and boys constantly hear the message that crying is weak, babyish, and for losers.

I think our Biblical Joseph proves otherwise, and examining his tears might empower our boys and...

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A ketubah done by Nick Oberstein

When I was 12, I told my parents and my Irish Catholic Nana that I would not be confirmed in the Catholic Church. As a gay kid growing up in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood of Boston, I felt alienated and targeted, and certain that wasn’t going to change.

Later, when we moved to a more diverse suburb, I often said I was “atheist” or “agnostic.” I made a lot of Jewish friends, though I didn’t know much about Judaism, and I found myself mysteriously drawn to their foods, customs, and rituals. I dated several nice Jewish boys and just as I began to question why all of that might...

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Children studying at a table under the guidance of an adult

Recently, I spent about two months in Israel with Skilled Volunteers for Israel, an innovative organization that creates meaningful service projects and volunteer experiences for active adults and retirees. As a volunteer, I tutored students in English, both middle school students in south Tel Aviv and nursing-field students at a youth center in Bat Yam, a smaller city adjacent to Tel Aviv. The work and the entire experience were extremely gratifying.

I arrived in Israel armed with much-less-than-fluent Hebrew, a Hebrew-English...

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