Posts in relationships
What I Learned about Teshuva from Getting Lost in the Woods (Rosh Hashanah Day Sermon 5780)

I recently spoke with a friend of mine about our college days. I told him I e-mailed someone we were friendly with as undergraduates. I felt like I’d been a bad friend for not staying in touch, but chose to reach out anyway. Even after 15 years, our friend was delighted to hear from me, and told me to call her anytime. My friend Keith, now an Episcopal monk, said our relationship with old friends is like our relationship with God: many of us come to believe God doesn’t want to hear from us, that we’re, say, “bad Jews”. We often wait until we’re in a desperate situation to reach out. But the Psalmist counsels us: "Seek out the Source and you will find It / Call to the Divine Presence, and It will be close." When we decide to return, God, like an old friend, eagerly waits at the door to welcome us back home.

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Broken Heart, Bigger Heart (Rosh Hashanah Day Sermon 5779)

One hineini, Abraham packs for a journey, gets ready to fulfil the terrible mission he has unwittingly accepted. Another hineini, Abraham’s journey ends, he is relieved of his awful burden. One hineini: Abraham accepts the painful fate he has been given. Another hineini: he responds, with joy, to a totally different truth. One hineini, Abraham’s life path seems set. Another hineini, he opens up to a totally different destiny.

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What Trees Can Teach Us About Politics

In the headlines, we see someone coming closer to an elected seat of power than he should. Trump doesn’t exist alone, but within systems and values that have lifted him frighteningly close to the highest office in our nation. Trump’s campaign is, sometimes more explicitly than other times, fueled by misogyny, anthropocentrism, capitalism and white supremacy. These systems place folks like him very close to society’s centers of power. This is, in part, because we live in a society that values self-reliance, and competition and touts bootstrap stories as heroic.

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Connecting and Resolving Conflict: Inspired by Dance

I counsel individuals of all ages as they struggle in their relationships with friends, partners, and family members. It goes with the territory when one is a rabbi. The people I counsel often have become attached to avoiding conflict, so when conflicts arise in their relationships – as they inevitably do – they are quick to interpret them as potentially catastrophic. They need their interactions to look a particular way in order to feel loved.

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Broadening the Jewish Gene Pool

What does it mean that the donor is not Jewish? What is the significance of using someone else’s genetic material?

As a queer man who has thought about how he might have children someday, these questions resonate with me. Friends of mine, invested in having a child, recently asked me if I would consider donating my genetic material — and whether I might want to co-parent.

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