Rabbi Evan

Author Archives: Rabbi Evan

The 3 Types of Anti-Semitism

This week police discovered Nazi symbols in a middle school restroom near my home.

Last month a gunman burst into a San Diego synagogue and began shooting, killing a 60-year-old woman.

Six months before that, a domestic terrorist in Pittsburgh murdered 11 Jews at prayer. Antisemitism is growing across America.  [It’s why I wrote the book First the Jews: Combatting the World’s Longest Running Hate Campaign.)

This antisemitism does not come in one flavor. It uses different justifications and ideologies. This diversity is part of what makes antisemitism so dangerous.

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10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Passover

Every year, millions of Jews gather around a table and celebrate Passover. We tell the story of the biblical exodus from Egypt. This festive meal is among the oldest religious rituals in the Western world.

As the author of a book on Passover and a lifelong participant in its celebration, I’ve learned that Passover has a deeply meaningful message – but it also generates lots of confusion. Here’s what you should know, if you’re not familiar with the holiday:

1. The Last Supper was not a Passover seder.

The Last Supper is one of the most famous stories (and paintings) in the world. According to the Gospels, it takes place on Passover. But it was a meal, not a seder. What’s the difference?

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Who Else is Happy About the College Admissions Scandal?

As you probably know by now, several high-profile actors and corporate executives paid millions of dollars in bribes to get their children into top universities.

Journalists describe it as the biggest college admissions scandal in American history. 

This incident reveals many sad truths. Some people feel entitled to unearned privileges.  They break the law to get what they want. 

And some students have no compunction about lying and cheating to get into a school where they don’t belong. All of this is true. 

But I think there is a tremendous bright side.

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3 Lessons from the Secret Vatican Archive

For many years, I’ve heard rumors about a secret Vatican archive. This archive holds papers detailing the actions of Pope Pius II during the Second World War. 

Why did he not protest when the Nazis emptied Rome of its Jews? Should he have spoken out? Did he tacitly help Nazi criminals after the war? Or did he do what he could behind the scenes to aid the allies? 

The secret Vatican archive may soon reveal the answers to these question. What will we learn? Is it important? Will it reveal anything useful for Christians and Jews?

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5 Ways to Stop the Spread of Anti-Semitism

Today the US Congress plans to pass a resolution condemning antisemitism.

The immediate imputes for the resolution are the remarks by Representative Ilan Omar. She said American Jews support Israel because they are more loyal to Israel than America.

The resolution also comes in the wake of a tremendous rise in antisemitic incidents in the United States. Jews are the #1 victim of hate crimes in America. This truth shocked me when I saw it, and that’s why I wrote First the Jews. 

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3 Ways to Combat Anxiety

A reader sent a question recently. He asked if Judaism sees anxiety as a sin.

He pointed to a verse in the Christian Bible where it says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Do not be anxious about anything… Is this possible? Are we doing something wrong when we feel anxious?

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What Do You Say to Someone In Pain?

Have you ever had a friend or family member who was suffering? Perhaps they had just gone through a divorce? Perhaps they had lost a parent? Perhaps they were sick and in the hospital?

All of us have probably faced this situation many times. What do you say? How do you comfort them?

Some people knew to have a knack for knowing exactly what to say. But most of us struggle…

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