BEHAR — Judaism is concerned with the ethics of our everyday actions, even those seemingly harmless. For example, a woman walks into a store to get information about buying an air conditioner that she has NO intention of buying in that store. She asks the proprietor of the store all kinds of questions regarding the best air conditioner to buy. Afterwards she goes home and buys her preferred air conditioner online for a better price. She’s done nothing wrong. She has just made sure she was an educated consumer— right? Wrong! According to Jewish law she misrepresented herself, acting...Read More
TAZRIA — Everyone is born with a powerful weapon, which can be used for both good and evil. This weapon grows over time, but remains small and mostly concealed. It’s bumpy, pink and slippery, but can be pulled out and put away in a blink of an eye. This weapon is your tongue. Your tongue is used to create thousands of words every day, and each word has the power to harm or to heal, to hurt or to help. We are defined by how we use our tongues and by the words that leave our lips each day. This...Read More
PURIM — From the time we are born, our identities begin to evolve. In certain instances however, our identities become fixed over time, especially as they are formed in relationship to siblings. “She’s the smart one”, we think to ourselves. “He’s the one good at sports”. “She’s the one with the special needs; I’m the perfect one”. We often define ourselves in relation to another sibling, especially if parental expectations solidify those identities. Overstressed parents, who may have a child with problems or special needs, might expect another child to be “perfect” or at least more self-sustaining. Such expectations...Read More
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Rabbi Charles Savenor
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Director of Congressional Education, Park Avenue Synagogue
Rabbi Steven Wernick
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CEO United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
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