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In My Own Words: Church, state and marriage

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Do you think two Jews should have the right to marry? This is not a trick question. I’m not asking about LGBTQ marriages or anything controversial (at least, not yet). What I want to know is simple: Are you willing to risk that a governmental official will refuse…

In My Own Words: Days of hate and love

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Friday, February 24, was a particularly difficult day. A friend texted me that her grandson had had another seizure. Fortunately, he was fine after a short visit to the hospital, but his parents and grandparents are still shaken and upset. Shortly after, I learned t…

In my own words: Judaic and ethnic studies

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Although specific groups in the United States may have always had an interest in ethnic studies, most formal programs only began to flourish during the late 1960s, particularly in colleges and universities. The Judaic Studies Department at Binghamton University bega…

In My Own Words: A guaranteed day off

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Remember the Blue Laws? For readers who are too young to remember, the Blue Laws meant that businesses and stores were required to be closed on Sundays. In their strictest form, many leisure activities were also forbidden and alcohol was not allowed to be served in …

In My Own Words: My life as a reader

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

“Wait! You read the books!” 

That quote was an answer to a comment I made about the books I review for the paper. It’s not the first time someone was surprised by that I actually read the books: my other friend thought I just skimmed them. I confess to peri…