Many Americans are broken. Most respond with dignity and patience.
Oct21

Many Americans are broken. Most respond with dignity and patience.

It was just the other morning that I saw and heard the anguished yet determined report of a mother whose soldier-son was killed in that ambush in Niger.  The news media, which drowns us with equal parts information and hyperbole, was trying to extract a statement from her—a woman reeling from fresh grief—about whether or not the current president had phoned her.  (He hadn’t.) We absolutely do not feel personally safe in the current...

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At the New Year, our group retreats from the madness
Sep18

At the New Year, our group retreats from the madness

Politics.  Brutality.  Greed.   Incompetence.  Uncertainty.  At Rosh Hashanah, my people, a diverse and complex group, finds common comfort, sanctuary, and healing in one another. In other denominations, confession is a personal event, often realized between the confessor and a priestly intermediary. The cleric is charged with admonition but also the release, by virtue of so many devotions, mantras and other rituals. We are redeemed...

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Clergy must no longer be silent: Trump is evil and must go
Aug16

Clergy must no longer be silent: Trump is evil and must go

STATEMENT FROM RECONCILIATION: The Synagogue Without Walls Rabbi Ben Kamin, Founder & Director The president’s contradictory and vile statements, granting moral equivalency between white supremacist/Nazis and anyone else have now betrayed the very foundation of the presidency itself.  They amount to an unfiltered, ominously threatening pile of ignorance, lack of historical literacy, pugnacious defiance of decency, and a cosmic...

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He taught me about what love really is
Aug02

He taught me about what love really is

  Hardly anyone we watch in the current national drama appears authentic or worthy of our recollections.  We have to look elsewhere for genuine moments of human intimacy that are devoid of histrionics or “fake news.” I have found in these bizarre times—and maybe you have as well—that I fall back into encouraging memories of people whose lives I have felt in my heart and my bones.   Folks who are or were real and who left an indelible...

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America, I still hear the sounds of the marching band
Jul03

America, I still hear the sounds of the marching band

When I think of America, I see myself back in 1968—fifteen years old and in the regalia of the Woodward High School Marching Band.  I played clarinet and performed, to my cosmic joy, as the occasional Assistant Drum Major.  In February, the month in which the above photo was taken, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. admonished his congregants in Atlanta to each become “a drum major for justice!” All we boys wanted, however, were car keys and...

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