Historic Profiles


Tears on the Digital Road to Jerusalem 

“If a picture paints a thousand words, then an experience paints 10,000.” “Stand where He stood. Walk where He walked. Discover it for yourself.” When we bring rising Christian leaders on pilgrimage to Israel, we emphasize that there is nothing like seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling the complicated, beautiful, Holy Land that birthed their tradition and ours. Born out of necessity amid the pandemic, we began to experiment with digital pilgrimages to see if they could feel every bit as real as those that happened in person. We knew from the......

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Premonitions: Parshat Sh'lach (Numbers 13:1 - 15:41)

Sometimes we can feel in our bones that something is going to go wrong. We can’t explain why or how, but we can sense the impending trouble. Some call it intuition. Behavioral Economists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky might term it “thinking fast,” with our subconscious outpacing the centers of rational reasoning; bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell might call it “thinking without thinking.” One of my mentors, Hedy Peyser, LCSW, would often reiterate, “sometimes you just know.” Moses knew. It would be easy to presume that God had foreshadowed the rebellion of all......

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Looking Evil In the Face, Boldly and Beautifully

“If there is only one book you are going to read….” is not something I say often, and something I don’t think should ever be said about a topic as important and as complicated as the Holocaust. I will say though, that anyone who cares about the topic, or any questions of evil and how we respond to it, really must read Faris Cassell’s new, and already award-winning book, The Unanswered Letter. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Faris about her work, which had already been awarded first place in......

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Night Words, A Midrash For The Holocaust

The Meaning of this Day, January 27, 2021 In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27–the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau–as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges the world community to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism. The theme guiding Holocaust remembrance in 2021 is Facing the Aftermath: Recovery and Reconstitution After The Holocaust. The never-ending process of recovery and reconstitution of individuals, communities, and systems of justice includes: accurately recording the......

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A Doubly Sad Day...

Today is a doubly sad day.  Today I mourn as a Jew, and today, I mourn as an American. Today is Tisha b’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, a day that marks the destruction of both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem.  Today is the day on which the Jewish people recall thousands of years of hurt and harm, homelessness and harshness, sometimes of unimaginable measure. Tisha b’Av marks the moments when we have failed to believe — in ourselves and/or in God — when we have......

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