Rethinking Religion

Judaism

Growing Toward God: Jewish Movement through an Axial Age

Just as plants are heliotropic beings that grow toward the sun, we humans are theotropic beings that grow toward God. And just as a tree doesn’t have to understand the sun to feel it and be fed by it, we don’t have to understand God to be nourished by subtle sacred influences.
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Judaism

Jewish Education During the Nazis as Spiritual Resistance

“Somehow Nazism and Martin Buber worked together to give a lot of us a much deeper feeling for what Judaism offers.”
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Disability

Made by God, Broken by Life: Developing an African American Hermeneutic for Disability

I believe it’s time to develop an African American hermeneutic for approaching disability language and metaphors of brokenness in religious discourse.
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Disability

High Holy Days in the Hospital

“On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. Who shall live and who shall die, who shall perish by fire and who by water, who by Roman soldier and who by cancer…” “No, that’s not …
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Politics & Society

Illness and Innocence

Why do many of us feel guilty when we catch a cold or grow a tumor? Is it because so many religions depict illness as divine punishment?
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Disability

Who Can Be Commanded?: Disability in Jewish Thought and Culture

Recently two dear friends asked me to advise them about their pregnant daughter, who just discovered that her fetus has Noonan syndrome, a genetic condition that can result in heart defects, unusual facial features, short stature, and learning problems. The …
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Disability

No Casseroles for Schizophrenics: The Church and Mental Illness

One important lesson we must all learn, Christian or otherwise, is that the patient is not the illness. Symptoms of the illness are not the patient’s fault nor are they signs of a sick soul.
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Rethinking Religion

Both Wilderness and Promised Land: How Torah Grows When Read Through LGBTQ Eyes

B’reishit—in the beginning of the Torah, and the beginning of the world—there was God, a very queer God. Unlike other deities described in Iron Age texts, this God didn’t have a form or face or identifiable role in the natural …
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Disability

Inspired by Moses: Disability and Inclusion in the Jewish Community

I believe that Jewish communities must stop creating “special” programs that serve people with disabilities in segregated settings and instead support personalized efforts to enable people with disabilities to live full and meaningful Jewish lives of their own choosing.
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Rethinking Religion

Dear Jael, Wife of Heber the Kenite

The Torah anesthetized me long ago. Back before I could drink wine, it broke my heart to read Leviticus. “No man who has any defect may come near.” I am twice expelled.
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Disability

When Strangers Read My Body: Blurred Boundaries and the Search for Something Spiritual

The encounter was not all that different from others I’ve had on the street—a rupture in my peace of mind. It was well past midnight, and I walked the streets alone, delighted to bask in the warmth of a productive …
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Disability

God on Wheels: Disability and Jewish Feminist Theology

At kiddush one day, I was welcoming a visitor to synagogue when she popped the question. “What’s wrong with you?” she asked as her eyes flicked from my face to my wheels. I’ve been asked this question in an astounding …
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Politics & Society

Confronting the Corporate Expediter: Building the Religious Counterculture

So I’m at a dinner party chatting with the guy sitting next to me, and he asks me what I do for a living. I tell him all about ministry, and then I ask him what he does for a …
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Judaism

The Color of Judaism: A Cultural Reflection and Plea for the New Year

No matter what I am wearing, what is covering my head, or what color my skin is, I am Jewish. But being Jewish does not take away the fact that I am a person of color either.
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Rethinking Religion

Thinking Anew About God: An Introduction

Many liberal and progressive people continue to be unaware of the truly radical notions of God that progressive theologians and believers are exploring.
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