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Nov 22, 2023, 6:28 PM
Holding Grief and Hope in HaMakom
Last week I had the chance to visit Israel for the first time since the October 7th attack. I delivered clothes to evacuees, brought pizza to soldiers, and helped care for dogs from Otef Aza. I listened to a...
Oct 3, 2023, 11:58 AM
Learning To Live In Our Shared Sukkah
I left my synagogue after Neilah on high, feeling inspired by the beautiful service I had just experienced. However, when I got home and read the news of what had transpired in Dizengoff Square I was deeply saddened. The...
Apr 13, 2022, 11:36 PM
A child at the seder
The Maxwell House Haggadah, first published in 1932, has both influenced and reflected the practices of most American Jews at the seder. So, it is no surprise that when the Maxwell House Haggadah describes the moment when the Mah...
Sep 10, 2021, 7:57 AM
Finding What You’re Not Looking For
On Shabbat, we will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. One of the indelible images from the aftermath of the attacks is that of hundreds of search and rescue personnel and dogs looking for survivors in the...
Mar 25, 2021, 5:31 PM
Should we make whole what is broken?
On Saturday night, the vast majority of Jews around the world will celebrate Pesach with three matzot on their table. However, Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna, better known as the Vilna Gaon, argued that one should not use three matzot...
Sep 25, 2020, 8:24 AM
Why Doctors Go To Gehinnom and What That Means For The Rest Of Us
Over the last six months the plight of medical professionals struggling against the coronavirus has been a tragically reoccurring headline. Throughout the pandemic people have sought to thank doctors, nurses, and others for all that they have done. It...
Sep 21, 2020, 9:03 AM
The Music of Silence
The following was given as a sermon on the first day of Rosh Hashana 5781: On a late summer day in 1952, the pianist David Tudor took the stage of Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock, New York to debut a...
Sep 17, 2020, 8:18 AM
From Poor Beginnings to Positive Endings
Since John Dewey founded the progressive education movement in the late 19th century, the world of education has been torn between competing traditional and progressive theories about how best to educate children. Yet, after more than a century of...
May 8, 2020, 8:02 AM
What We Hide Behind Our Masks
Since the CDC recommended wearing cloth masks, their use has become a contentious fault line in American politics and culture. Experts suggest that wearing masks can slow the transmission of the coronavirus. It is widely believed that wearing a...
Apr 6, 2020, 11:38 PM
Maror: A Bitter Treat
There is a deep tension at the heart of the Haggadah: are we reenacting our ancestors' experience in Egypt or celebrating their redemption? “This year we are slaves, next year we will be free people”, we recite at the...
Noah Leavitt has an MA in Jewish Philosophy from Yeshiva University. He received smicha from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.