Jewish tradition comes down decidedly on the side of science. One of the primary values in Jewish legal thought: Pikuach nefesh, saving a life, overrides almost every other religious mitzvah.
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I envisioned an investigator examining our homes and our lifestyles to determine whether enough about us would convince a jury that we were indeed Jews. What would they look for? Would they deem us Jewish?
This is a moment that requires extraordinary courage to do the hardest and most transformative social change work. It is for all Americans of conscience to build a more just and compassionate future by facing the truth of our history and our present.
Democracy is, indeed, a promise we renew not just on election day, but every day. Democracy does not exist independent of our contributions to it. Citizens and immigrants, voters, and presidents – all of us build democracy.
During this pandemic, I was determined that my hero receive his medal in person – and I could think of no better location for his medal presentation than the top of the mountain where he rescued me,
In 2020, we learned the extent to which the fate of every single one of us is in each other’s hands. We are woven together inextricably. We need each other. We depend on each other. We must be here for each other.
Mark Werner is a retired attorney in Raleigh, N.C., who for the past 18 years has devoted two or three weeks every summer to volunteering on Israeli military bases through Volunteers For Israel, the U.S. partner of Israeli organization Sar-el.
One day, we too will be able remove our masks. It will take longer than we hoped for, but it will happen. The journey from here to there will be hard, laden with loss and sorrow, but we will make it. The road to healing and catharsis will not be a clear and steady progression, but rather, like that of Joseph and his brothers, filled with moments when it seems as if for every step forward there are two steps back.
What will it take for all of us to pursue the tireless work of tzedek with consistency? It is in this spirit that I invite you to join a new initiative: the Tzedek Box.
This Hanukkah, it hit me: We can do anything. The beauty of this holiday — and especially of experiencing it amidst a global pandemic —is that we have the opportunity to make it our own.