Reposted with thanks to The Forward 

Sunday was the 12th of Cheshvan, a grim anniversary: 20 years since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. He was shot on a Saturday night after the world’s synagogues read the Torah portion Lech Lecha, the first night of the week looking toward the next reading, VaYera, the “binding of Isaac.”

But in real life, unlike in the biblical story of human sacrifice, no angel narrowly averted the disaster.

Twenty years after this horrible crime, amid a new wave of Palestinian terrorism and Israeli reprisals that seems like the beginning of the beginning of the third intifada, it’s time for reflection. We’ve all seen too many analyses of the long road from Oslo to Wye River to Camp David, from disengagement to hilltop caravans, from Jenin to Lebanon to Gaza to Gaza to Gaza. We too rarely ask what is happening to our religion. How is this endless, pitiless conflict shaping Judaism?

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Jeremy Kalmanofsky, a Wexner Graduate Fellowship alum (Class 5), is rabbi of Congregation Ansche Chesed, a Conservative synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He came to this pulpit in 2001 from Jewish Theological Seminary, where he served as assistant dean of the Rabbinical School. He finds this pulpit rewarding for the opportunity it affords to help people build religious lives that are holy in both traditional and contemporary ways. Jeremy is a PhD candidate in Jewish mysticism at JTS, where he was ordained as a rabbi. Jeremy lives in New York with his wife, Rabbi Amy Kalmanofsky, and their children Yedidya, Hadas, Isaiah and Odelya. He can be reached at