WRJ's Blog

I'm standing amidst a crowd of rabbis in the thick of a long, tumultuous autumn in Jerusalem. I can hear the sounds of people shouting, whistles blowing, and feet scuffling through the divided entrances of the Western Wall Plaza. But the most important sound is the sound of the Reform rabbi beside me, an older man who urges me to enter through the leftmost archway: "Knisa l'gvarim." My march to the Kotel begins as I walk through the men's entrance.

As I join the gathering of progressive Jews advancing through the Western Wall Plaza, the opposite crowds I face...

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In this portion, Aaron and his sons begin to officiate as kohanim (priests). Aaron’s two elder sons, Nadav and Avihu offer “alien fire” to God, and God punishes them by killing them immediately. God forbids Moses and Aaron and Aaron’s surviving sons from mourning, but commands the rest of the people to do so. Aaron was silent. How do we understand his silence, and how do we understand the idea that the community is to mourn and not the mourners?

Both my mother and mother-in-law passed away in recent months. Neither was in good health, and both had advanced Alzheimer’s. The disease...

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holding hands with text that says I believe survivors

This blog is a part of the RAC Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) blog series. The following contains depictions of sexual assault.

 As we commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), it is important to think about and discuss these issues in context of Jewish text and our Jewish values. In Jewish text, there are many examples of sexual assault, including rape, as well as domestic abuse. These narratives highlight the reality that sexual violence has existed throughout history, sometimes paralleling cases we see in society today. While there are multiple instances in...

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What do you get when you mix 1,000 teenagers, musicians, a selfie stick, and uninhibited enthusiasm for social justice?

A few weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege to address NFTY Convention, the largest gathering of Reform Jewish teens in North America. This biennial conference convened teens, young adults, alumni, and congregational leaders for 4 days of learning, celebration, and action, centered on empowering teens with agency to shape the world they want to live in.

As Vice President of Youth for the Union for Reform...

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Oh, the sweetness of Shabbat. Our day to rest and acknowledge our role of being God’s partner--yet taking the day “off” from creating. Shabbat is our time out, a gift when we cease work and stop--to take the time to reflect and consider how our work this past week, has been good. Shabbat is a gift.

All this being said, what a week this has been. In the midst of Pesach, having two s’darim behind us, we anticipate the eventuality of having less matzah dust to contend with. The hype, unconsciously getting sucked in, and the incessant preparing...dayenu—it is enough. The frenzy of...

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