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Rabbi Seth L. Bernstein

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Pegs in a wooden board connected by white thread

Just two weeks ago, Jews the world over recalled the 11 murdered Jews and the eight injured who were shot at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, on Shabbat Va-eira, October 27, 2018. In the year since the shooting, I’ve been thinking – as have rabbis and Jews the world over – about the antisemitic thread that runs through the Tree of Life tragedy.

As a longtime American Red Cross volunteer, I was one of a team of three “disaster spiritual care” volunteers who responded to Pittsburgh in the first week immediately following the attack, deployed alongside Rabbi Steve Kaye of...

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Young woman facing away, wrapped in an Israeli flag

Of all the curiosities surrounding the Jewish calendar, I continue to be startled by the fact that only during these Omer days – between Passover and Shavuot – do Jews have back-to-back commemorations of sadness. Soon after Passover, we commemorate Yom HaShoah only to be followed by Yom HaZikaron. Each year, depending on when Shabbat falls within those days, there are either six or seven days that separate one day of sadness from the other. 

Jews memorialize the six million Holocaust victims and the heroism of those who resisted, only to be followed by a day to remember those who...

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