Rabbis Without Borders

Nurturing rabbis as American religious leaders, Rabbis Without Borders makes Jewish wisdom an available resource to the wider public. For more information about Rabbis Without Borders programs, visit the Rabbis Without Borders site by clicking here.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Gratitude and Forgiving the Unforgivable September 30, 2014

"A while back I suggested a unique way of doing the chesbon nefesh (soul’s accounting) we are expected to do this time of year. The tools I suggested are useful year round, but they are timely during this season of Teshuva (repentance).As I understand them, the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe) rests on two central themes: Gratitude and Forgiveness.

Tzemah Yoreh: Book of Judgment September 29, 2014

In this book, Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. explores how did the biblical Isaac die? It may be surprising to know that in the original Genesis account, the angel did not stop Abraham's knife, but let Isaac be sacrificed, severing not only his head but also the continuity between Abraham and Jacob. This companion volume to my Kernel to Canon series tells the original story of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Balaam as the Bible once told it, without embellishments or commentary.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Dear Friend, May You Be Written in the Book of Life September 29, 2014

"May you be Written in the Book of Life” is such a nice phrase to utter at this time of year, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Most years I don’t think much about it. It is easy to ignore the weight of the words when everyone in your life is healthy.This year is different. A close friend is struggling with aggressive breast cancer. Instead of casually saying these words, I am fervently praying them on her behalf..."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Meeting My Palestinian Neighbors For the First Time September 23, 2014

"Nine months ago I opened the front door of my apartment in Alon Shvut and took a 20-minute walk that began to change my life. My wife asked me to reconsider—it might be dangerous, she said—but I went anyway. My heart beat just a little bit faster than usual as I walked through the Arab fields and vineyards that surround my home in the Judean Hills...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Talk of Israel and Gaza Draws Congregants' Wrath September 22, 2014

"...Rabbi Ron Aigen [a Clal Rabbis Without Borders Fellow] heard criticism at his synagogue in Montreal this month after he gave a sermon asserting that in the recent battle, Israel had endeavored to live up to the highest standards of Jewish teaching on ethical and just war.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: When My Father Hit Me, I Never Did It Again September 17, 2014

"One of the reasons I love the fall is because of the NFL. Although I need to garner all of my religious faith to remain a Jets fan, I absolutely adore watching the weekly games with my son. I am sure that I am not the only parent in America who had some explaining to do this past Sunday. Each day it seemed that yet another player was deactivated for horrific acts of domestic violence. The press kept reporting that it was a “bad week for the NFL.” I disagree. It was a bad week for America.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: G*d is Everywhere… No, Really September 5, 2014

"Images of horror, most pointedly the public beheadings of two American journalists in a matter of weeks, have ensured that the days leading up to the Season of Awe will continue to be stained with cruelty and violence. What hope can there be for a month already so tragic trailing a summer marred by war, rising Anti-Semitism globally and fatal injustice in the streets of St. Louis. And yet, this month on the Jewish calendar is Elul, not only the last month of the waning year but a special occasion in its own regard.

Tzemah Yoreh: Shards of the Shofar September 2, 2014

In this book, Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. attempts to add some new spice to the High Holidays. It is intended for anyone who wishes that there were more prayers reflecting contemporary values, while at the same time remaining true to traditional cadences.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Treat Every Person with Dignity August 26, 2014

"I was a college student doing about 78 mph on my way from Pittsburgh to New York City to visit my boyfriend. Suddenly flashing lights appeared behind me, my stomach flipped over, and I was busted. The officer sauntered up to my window. He asked questions that I felt were intrusive, like where was I going, where was I coming from, who was I going to see. He made a comment about my “pretty face” being smashed if I crashed at that speed. I wanted him to just give me a ticket and go away. Finally he did...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: An Electrifying Altar August 22, 2014

"A few summers ago, on a trip through Samaria, Israel, a passage in this week’s Torah portion jumped out of the past and came alive in front of my eyes. The portion of Re’eh introduces us to a stupendous covenant ceremony that Moses commands the people to enact upon Mount Gerizim and Mount Eval when the Israelites enter the land of Israel after his own death.

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