Saperstein: Lights—a symbol of freedom and hope.
You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. They shall not remain in your land, lest they cause you to sin against Me; for you will serve their gods - and it will prove a snare to you.
Saperstein: “It is shameful that the United States chose not to be a part of the first UN General Assembly declaration condemning state-sanctioned human rights abuses against LGBT people”
I was recently asked by someone I very much respect to address "the" question. So I started to write the answer in a post... about five times without any luck. The "Why does a 20-something join a Reform Congregation" question.
When we love something, we want to share it – so why not be inspired to bring our Jewish friends into the kehilla kedosha (holy community), embracing them within a wonderful, sacred congregation?
In Parashat Emor, the Torah reports that a man born of mixed Israelite-Egyptian descent “blasphemed the Name [of God],” was placed on trial, and was stoned to death. A law was then enacted that anyone, Jewish or gentile, who blasphemes the name of God shall be put to death. Over time, in communities throughout the world, laws against blasphemy were put in place to address curses leveled at God as well as perceived slights against some religions.
Typically, at some point in my work on this project, my wife will lean over my shoulder and ask me, in her own style, “So. How are the Jews this year?” Some years that is a difficult question to answer. This year the answer is clear: The Jews are afraid.