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Where does grief go when it cannot be told?

A Damaged Mirror is an exploration of the boundaries between right and wrong, choices and choicelessness, and the consequences of crossing those boundaries. It challenges notions of black and white, and calls into question the sovereignty of death itself.

We know now where grief untold goes: it goes on to haunt future generations. It gets left behind on the grating; it passes unscathed through temperatures that can melt iron and reduce human bone to ash. And somewhere far removed in space and decades into the future, a stranger wakes out of a sound sleep with an inexplicable nightmare and a despair so deep as to negate life itself.

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Shmittah

Tanakh Study Days: Some insights into Shmittah

Against the backdrop of terraced hillsides covered with vineyards and thousand-year-old olive trees, over a thousand people of all ages and backgrounds come together every summer to learn Tanakh. Amid the everyday miracle that is Israel, a Jewish renaissance is underway. One of the many expressions of this revolution in Jewish learning is the annual Tanakh Study Days, a week-long celebration of the Tanakh in all its complexity. This year features some intriguing insights into the underlying purpose of the Shmittah year.

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Textual Processing

The Prehistory of the Bible: Some gleanings from a remarkable online course

For the past six weeks, I’ve enjoyed a new and very rewarding experience: I participated in an online course with the intriguing title: The Bible’s Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future. The course, taught by Jacob Wright, argues that the Tanakh was aimed at providing a blueprint for a stateless nation. This idea isn’t new; it is central to the writings of Max Kadushin and Daniel Elazar. But Dr. Wright manages to give concrete and vivid support to the idea. While Kadushin looked at oral traditions that grew out of the Torah, Wright traces historical trends evident in the text itself.

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“Hashem Yikom”: Justice, yes. Revenge, No!

I suppose, it was inevitable: the strident calls for revenge. After all, do we not say “Hashem yikom damam”? Is this not a call for revenge? No, it is not! Rather, it is an affirmation in ultimate justice when it is needed most. Our traditions allow us—in fact, encourage us—to be ourselves, to be fully human. We aren’t required to be more than human, but we aren’t allowed to be less either.

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The Eternal Question of Unanswered Prayers

How should we related to the unanswered prayers of an entire people? Perhaps an answer can be found in the fact that we base the order of the central prayer of our liturgy on a prayer that was not in fact granted.

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