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Kimberly Burnham

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There was such joy in his voice as Rabbi Kevin Hale talked about going to the river near his house to wash himself in a mikveh (ritual bath) before writing the name of God in the Torah scroll he worked on.

Letters gather into words. Words spiral into sacred texts. Each one is different. Each one strives to create a world of peace. Each one calls out a name of God.

One of about 100 Torah scribes in the United States, Hale taught a dozen or so attendees at the 2015 Parliament of World Religions in Salt Lake City, UT, how to sing out each letter and word as we inscribed "...

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"You know, I was never Christian. I was born Jewish."

"I know, and your momma and your ema and your grandparents were all born Jewish," I said, deep in conversation with my 6-year-old stepdaughter, Shaya.

"I, on the other hand, am the only one in my family that is Jewish," I added.

"Because you turned Jewish," she piped up.

Three years ago – before I knew anything about this amazing child or her mother, who I fell in love with, or her twin brother and the 9-year-old twins – I decided to bicycle...

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