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Rabbi Esther L. Lederman

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White headphones around a plastic heart against a bright blue background

The writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley once wrote, “After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” For many of us, words seem inadequate to describe how we are feeling at this very moment. It is music that can carry us, support us, and hold out the possibility of hope and a better future.

Take a listen to this playlist of music, curated for this moment, as it lifts you, holds you, and may just make you laugh. 

For a closer look at one of the tunes on this list, read “The Jewish Song That Comforts Me in Uncertain Times” by Rabbi...

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Stained glass window featuring a Star of David

Editor's Note: This roundup, intended for clergy, is part of a series of pieces that curates coronavirus response resources for specific congregational roles. Additional pieces in this series are available for presidents, executive director and temple administrators, ECE center directors and educators, and Jewish K-12 educational leaders. 

Today we find ourselves in a time of quarantine, the cancellation of large public gatherings, school closings, and the call to maintain social distance. One of the functions of religion has been to fulfill the promise of God’s words in the Garden...

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Gravesites for lynching victims

On the eve of a pilgrimage, I gathered in Montgomery, AL, with a group from T’ruah, an organization that trains and mobilizes clergy and their communities to advance human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied territories. The next day, we would be going to the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a place dedicated to the legacy of enslaved Black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence. 

It so...

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Protesters outside the Homestead detention center in Florida

In the Book of Jeremiah we read: “A cry is heard in Ramah — Wailing, bitter weeping. Rachel weeping for her children. She refuses to be comforted for her children, for they are no longer.”

God – I pray that we can love the child of the widow, of the orphan, of the stranger more than we love our walls.

These United States of America were supposed to have been built on an idea of freedom and an attitude of abundance. We’ve become small and afraid, seeing scarcity everywhere we turn. But love is an abundant resource. Justice is an abundant resource. Love never runs out....

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Rabbi Esther Lederman speaking on stage

  In the Book of Jeremiah we read: “A cry is heard in Ramah — Wailing, bitter weeping. Rachel weeping for her children. She refuses to be comforted for her children, for they are no longer.”

God – I pray that we can love the child of the widow, of the orphan, of the stranger more than we love our walls.

These United States of America were supposed to have been built on an idea of freedom, and an attitude of abundance. We’ve become small and afraid, seeing scarcity everywhere we turn. But love is an abundant resource. Justice is an abundant resource. Love never runs out....

Read More

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