News & Politics


Modeh Ani: My Blessing for a New Day

The prayer that is said in the Jewish tradition on waking up is modah ani (men say modeh). It is personal. “I give thanks before You, G*d, ever sustaining in life, for breathing into me my soul in your boundless compassion and faith.”   This prayer is said every morning, regardless of what the day will bring.  Shabbat or weekday, days of challenge or joy, this prayer is said. Today, I am thankful that this prayer is the ultimate “I” statement, a declaration that speaks only to my own gratitude.  There is irony......

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Reckoning or Reconciliation?  How About Both?

To impeach or not to impeach. That is the question. Or is it? Perhaps the more important question at this moment is not a question of what to do, but of why we do it. That has certainly been my approach, as I am asked if there are any spiritual or religious responses to the cresting chorus of those who are ready to explain the “right answer” to the question of impeachment — Focusing on the “why” more than the “what.” The question of whether or not the President should be impeached,......

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Writing, Thinking and Talking about Tragedy: A Conversation with Beth Kissileff

I sat down recently with Beth Kissileff, a TWD contributor who has a new book out — one reflecting how different people in Pittsburgh have processed, and continue to process the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue building, which occurred a little more than 2 years ago. Our conversation was about “more” than one terrible event, as you will see.  It’s not simple to write, think, or talk about tragedy, but this was an attempt to do just that.  We do not only, or even primarily, look back.  Instead, I hope......

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The Acceptance of Oklahoma's Day of Prayer and Fasting -- Warts and All

By decree of Gov. Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma is observing today, Thursday, December 3rd, as a day of prayer and fasting, asking God “To heal those who are sick, comfort those who are hurting and provide renewed strength and wisdom to all who are managing the effects of COVID-19.” I applaud the Governor, most of his decree, and all those who would join him in prayer and fasting, even, or especially if they don’t believe in God. Yes, I am applauding the state-sponsored establishment of a religious day, even though I believe in......

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