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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Loving Israel at the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War
Jun04

Loving Israel at the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War

Unbelievably, June 5 is the 50th anniversary of Israel’s lightning victory over the gathered Arab nations in the Six Day War of June 5-11, 1967.  The Jewish state paid a heavy price to survive; the rest of us need to pay tribute. We were now Hebrews; the gallant, nimble disciples of Joshua and Deborah. When we were children were living there some sixty years ago, it was still morning in Israel.  There was no West Bank, no Gaza (they...

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John F. Kennedy would have been 100 on May 29
May27

John F. Kennedy would have been 100 on May 29

LOS ANGELES–“God’s work on earth must truly be our own,” he declared in those thick Bostonian tones at the close of his renowned Inaugural Address on the bitter cold morning of January 20, 1961.  A flawed man with impeccable charm and poise, a legend larger than himself, he remains the eternally young icon of our national wistfulness. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917, as American “doughboys” were being deployed...

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The Cineplex will never replace the memories
May01

The Cineplex will never replace the memories

These are the springtime festival days of Israel—Holocaust Remembrance Day last week, Israel Independence Day tomorrow, Jerusalem Day soon. I remember when, several years ago, it was reported in the international media that a huge, luxury Cineplex was being constructed in the suburban Israeli community of Kfar-Saba.  I retain some sensibilities regarding this matter–I was born in that one-time hamlet. What happened to the...

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