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In My Own Words: Something personal

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

While there are many political and social issues facing us in 2022, it’s a personal one that I can’t stop thinking about. To put this in perspective: the last few weeks of December were extremely difficult in my chaplaincy work with far too many deaths for reaso…

In My Own Words: Do Americans really want democracy?

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Democracy: a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting. (Merriam-Webster)

Imagine a football game where the losing team decides it was robbed because someone rigged the game and then sent its fans to storm the National Football League’s headquar…

In My Own Words: Being a chaplain, not a theologian

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I never expected the words to come out of my mouth. But as the only chaplain available, I said the one thing I knew would bring comfort to the person who had told me proudly that he was a regular churchgoer: “Your friend is safe because he is resting in the arms o…

In My Own Words: Book burning

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

On June 17, 1242, King Louis IX and Pope Gregory IX ordered that every copy of the Talmud on French soil be burned. The reason for this destruction was that the work contained sayings and sentiments they believed were offensive. Since this was before the printing pr…

In My Own Words: Guilt by association

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

First, let’s be clear: Jeffrey Epstein was a pedophile and a loathsome excuse for a human being. Why do I feel the need to say that before writing about a business associate of his? Because it seems like we are now condemning people as guilty by association.