Posts Tagged: Rabbi Eric Yoffie

A Day to Proclaim Our Love for Israel



I usually spend Yom HaAtzmaut here in New York, but when the day comes, I am always sorry that I am not in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. I have been a proud Israel activist all of my life, but the problem with being an activist is that when you spend so much time focusing on […]

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Gaza, Migron, and the Zionist Dream



It’s time to fight for the Zionist dream.  And it’s time to give some thought to what that dream is—and what it’s not. During the recent hostilities in southern Israel, the image that caught my attention was the picture of terrified Israeli schoolgirls cowering behind the school bus that they had just evacuated and looking […]

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Why Religious Conservatives Embrace the Language of Religious War



Religious conservatives are drawn to the language of religious war, even if no such war exists. This is a bizarre, dangerous and troubling phenomenon. I experienced it directly on Feb. 9 when I appeared on the Sean Hannity show on the Fox News channel as part of a panel of a dozen religious leaders, all […]

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Religious AND Spiritual



I read with great interest Rabbi Eric Yoffie’s piece on the Huffington Post titled “Religious But Not Spiritual.” In his capacity as President of the Union for Reform Judaism and, especially, after four years of working under his leadership in this organization, I am among those who have had occasion to revel in his intellectual […]

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The Haredi Issue: Forget the Army, Send Them to Work



I give up. It is time for me to admit that—with very few exceptions—young men in Israel’s haredi community will not go into Israel’s army. I find it difficult to say this because I have always advocated for political measures to compel their conscription. Their failure to serve is a terrible injustice. Those who give […]

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Religious But Not Spiritual



Jefferson Bethke’s YouTube video, “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus,” has been viewed by more than 20 million people. Bethke raises questions about the intentions of Jesus and the nature of Christianity, and these questions are properly dealt with by Christian thinkers. But the video and its incredible popularity touch upon broader issues that […]

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Tribute to Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut



When we look at Rabbi Plaut’s influence on the greater Reform Movement, it seems to me that there are two areas of accomplishment that deserve special mention. The first, not often discussed but of great importance, is his remarkable courage. As a spokesman for Jewish values and tradition, Gunther Plaut was usually ahead of the […]

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Since Last Biennial



by Rabbi Daniel Freelander Since we last gathered for a Biennial convention two years ago in Toronto, the Union for Reform Judaism has been hard at work strengthening Reform Judaism in North America. We have had two interesting years of growth, of challenges and excitement with an eye to the future.

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Rabbi Eric Yoffie

2011 URJ Biennial – Presidential Shabbat Sermon



National Harbor, MD December 17, 2011 We gather again on this Shabbat as a Reform family – experiencing together these precious hours of sacred time, praying as only we know how. Shabbat, above all, is a time for celebration and praising God – and that is what we have done. As usual at these services, […]

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Why Americans Dismiss Sin



by Rabbi Eric H. YoffieOriginally posted on The Huffington Post To talk of religion without reference to sin is absurd. Sin is what results when a human being chooses evil rather than good.It is the consequence of violating transcendent values. Contending withsin is a central theme of both Jewish and Christian religious thinking. The United […]

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Stop deluding yourselves!



by Rabbi Eric YoffieOriginally posted on Jpost.com There is far too much self-delusion, on all sides, when it comes to theIsraeli-Palestinian conflict and issues of peace in the Middle East.What follows is my unsolicited advice to the major players. To the Government and leaders of Turkey: Stop deluding yourselves!No matter how sharp your attacks on […]

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Is The Bible A ‘Small Government’ Book?



by Rabbi Eric Yoffie(originally posted in The Huffington Post) The political season is upon us. The debates have begun and the primaries are approaching. As always, we hear a great deal about the religious beliefs of the candidates. Since the economy is at the center of everyone’s concern, it would be wise to see what […]

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Priority Number One: The Campaign for Youth Engagement



by Rabbi Jonah PesnerIn less than 48 hours, the sound of the shofar will awaken us to renewal.  As the Union for Reform Judaism prepares to pass the mantle of leadership from Rabbi Eric Yoffie to Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the shofar calls us to honor the past by building for the future. That is why […]

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The Rockets Must Be Stopped



by Rabbi Eric Yoffie(originally posted in The Jerusalem Post) The rocket attacks on southern Israel must be stopped. Period. Whatever else happens, this must be the priority. No excuses permitted. No exceptions allowed. I know that the political situation is sensitive, and the new Egyptian leadership must be handled with care. I am sure that Israel’s diplomats are doing […]

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