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  1. Desperate Immigrants: An Ancient Jewish Story

    In the Book of Genesis, we read about Abraham and Sarah’s journey to the Promised Land. Shortly after they arrive, they encounter famine and head to Egypt in search of food. Foreigners without family or clan to protect them, they are afraid. Abraham asks Sarah to pretend to be his sister in the hope that this will help them avoid trouble – an act of deceit that potentially offered them some protection from harm in the context of their times.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/desperate-immigrants-ancient-jewish-story

    Posted on: 2017/08/16 - 3:27pm

  2. Shofar Kavannah for Refugees

    This ritual invokes the blast of the shofar to articulate the plight of refugees. It was created for use at High Holidays in response to the presidential travel ban.

    The blasts of the shofar are a wordless prayer punctuated by moments of silence. The stories of courage, hope, and determination of refugees resettling in our communities are punctuated by the silent yearnings of those who are kept out by the presidential travel ban.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/shofar-kavannah-refugees

    Posted on: 2017/08/16 - 3:35pm

  3. Strange Thoughts: A New Take on Loving the Stranger

    When newspaper style guides started adopting “they ” and “their” as singular, gender-neutral pronouns a friend told me, “I get why this should be done. It is the right thing to do. But it is going to be really hard for me to switch. It is not going to just roll off my tongue.” His words reminded me of someone who was on a rabbi search committee who was interviewing female rabbis for the first time, who confided, “I know I should give these women a fair shake, but it is not how I grew up. When I close my eyes and picture a rabbi, I see a beard and hear a man’s voice.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/strange-thoughts-new-take-loving-stranger

    Posted on: 2017/08/16 - 3:43pm

  4. Shefa - Welcoming Stranger

    (Originally published in RRA Connections)

    My rabbinate has called to me an ever-expanding circle of spiritual seekers, God-lovers, and many who have felt excluded from traditional community practice.

    As I reach out and invite my students onto a path of spiritual adventure and exploration, my intention is to let them know that their path is unique and precious, AND that we walk this path together. I let them know that Judaism can offer amazing and useful resources for transformation and a rich and beautiful language to express the ineffable.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/hospitality-and-spirit

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 2:08pm

  5. Les Bronstein - Welcoming the Stranger

    (Originally published in RRA Connections)

    When people would ask me to describe our congregation, I used to boast to them about the joyous seriousness of our davening; the dedication and intensity of our lehrhaus-style adult learning; the courage of our social action undertakings; and the pride our people take in being a reasonably successful experiment in creating Jewish sacred peoplehood.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/creating-culture-welcome

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 2:20pm

  6. Gerald Fox - Welcoming the Stranger

    (Originally published in RRA Connections)

    How do you know if you’re on the right path…this moment, and the next, and the one after that? How many of us, especially if we have over-obligated lives (as many of us do), find ourselves a little startled or even completely shocked that we are in the overgrowth, far from the trail that we had set upon last High Holy Days?

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/welcoming-those-who-are-close

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 2:27pm

  7. Welcoming the Stranger (Brian Field)

    (Originally published in RRA Connections)

    In 1997 the Colorado Jewish Federation undertook a demographic study of the Denver-Boulder Jewish population.  It discovered an affiliation rate of around 30%. In other words, a majority of Jews were, in effect, strangers in our own community.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/including-stranger

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 2:39pm

  8. Being the Stranger (Doris Dyen)

    (Originally published in RRA Connections)

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/being-stranger

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 2:54pm

  9. When Family Are Strangers (Gail Shuster-Bouskila)

    (Originally published in RRA Connections)

    My late brother was the “stranger” in my life. We were born on the same day two years apart but were so vastly different. It isn’t just the end of his life which sets us apart, it was his personality and the way he lived that made him a conundrum to me. He held responsible jobs for most of his life in spite of constantly fighting depression. Medication was helpful until it wasn’t and had to be adjusted. Those periods were fraught with anxiety and tension for him as well as for me and our family.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/when-family-are-strangers

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 2:59pm

  10. God Loves the Stranger: Introduction

    God Loves the Stranger

    —Deuteronomy 10:18

    When I take these words deeply into my being, my flesh and blood, there is enormous relief. I am no longer struggling to protect the limited ideas I have about who I am. I am no longer projecting endlessly limited ideas of who you are. I am free. No one is a stranger. Everyone including my so-called enemies is an infinitely complex and precious creature. My labels, categories, and strategies to protect myself from them are paltry in comparison with their sacred mystery.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/god-loves-stranger-introduction

    Posted on: 2017/08/17 - 4:09pm

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