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Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs


V’she-nahn tam l’vah-neh-cha, “You shall teach them diligently to your children.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)

We pray these words as part of the Sh’ma, the central affirmation of the Jewish people’s faith. These words are part of the first prayer I learned to read in Hebrew as a child, and they hang beautifully needlepointed in Hebrew just inside the entrance to our home.

In everything we do, our children learn from us.

In everything we do and with all of our decisions, actions, and priorities, we need to ask ourselves: “What are we teaching our children?”

Last month...

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For nearly half a century, Elie Wiesel has been an inspirational beacon of our people’s most precious values.

I first saw Wiesel speak in 1968, when he was a 40 year-old activist on behalf of Soviet Jewry. I had just finished my undergraduate thesis on “The Jews of the Soviet Union Since the End of World War II.” Wiesel’s book, The Jews of Silence was a primary source of my research.

Fifteen years later in Baltimore, I gave the invocation at an event where I again heard Wiesel speak. I treasure the fact that he complimented me on my presentation, and he said something that...

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I consider Stefanie Steinberg’s “Joseph Brothers Bowing Before Him” a masterpiece. I hung it with pride in my office for 25 years, and now it hangs in my family’s home.

Stefanie is my mother-in-law. At age 94, she is still an active artist.

She is also the subject of a magnificent exhibition conceived and curated by Pastor Ursula Sieg of Bad Segeberg, Germany. The exhibit is about Stefanie’s life and travels from Breslau, where she was born, to San Francisco, CA, where she lives today.

In this week’s Torah portion, parashat Mikeitz, Joseph rises from the dungeon to...

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Rabbi Stephen Fuchs with Pastorin Ulrike Wohlfahrt

I recently had the privilege of preaching at a church in Neumünster, Germany, named after the great Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Bonhoeffer was a brilliant student who turned away from a promising career as a professor of theology to instead live the teachings of Jesus’ life among everyday people as a pastor. He actively opposed Hitler even before he took office and through all 12 years of his reign.

Opportunities to escape Hitler came to Bonhoeffer from prestigious institutions in New York and London, but like Moses at the Burning Bush, Bonhoeffer could not...

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The Probst of the Lutheran Churches of Bad Segeberg, Dr. Daniel Havemann, has been incredibly gracious, kind, and welcoming to my wife and me during our visit to Germany. He invited me to preach the first sermon I delivered in Germany in 2014 in the historic Marien Cathedral in Bad Segeberg, and this year, he invited me to preach at the end of my visit. It is as though Dr. Havemann’s friendship and authority created a protective and comforting bracket around our extended stays in Germany.

Our joy, of course, paled against the anger and sadness caused by the horrific attacks on...

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