Uncategorized Rabbi Ebn Leader

Celebrating Creation: The 25th of Elul and Rosh Hashanah

Rabbi Eliezer taught: the world was created on the twenty-fifth of Elul… This implies that Adam was created on Rosh Hashanah. In the first hour [of that day] the idea arose [in the Divine mind to create humankind]… in the ninth [hour Adam and Eve were] commanded [not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge], in the tenth [hour they] transgressed the commandment, in the eleventh [hour they were] judged,… Read Article →

Community Blog Adult_Learning_Principles_Wordle

The 11 Qualities Needed to Teach PTJL

Much is made of the difficulty of raising tweens and teenagers in our chaotic and confusing world. Tweens and teens have significant developmental transitions to make and they are being asked to grow up faster than ever. When one looks for guidance in how to raise tweens and teens thoughtfully and realistically as Jews in our pluralistic society, there are not that many places to look. The opportunity to address… Read Article →

Pluralistic Perspectives rachel-adelman-100x100

“My Father Was a Wandering Aramean…”: The Ethical Legacy of Our Origins in Exile

(Parashat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8) Through two thousand years of diaspora, the Jewish people have preserved a relationship to God and our tradition, keeping alive the promise of return to our homeland. At the center of that promise of return, paradoxically, is a consciousness of the gift of the land, God’s land—neither “your land” nor “my land”. This concept forms the centerpiece of this week’s Torah portion, which begins with… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens emily mathis with daughter final

Counting down… and making way for enlivening

Even if you pay only scant attention, it’s hard to avoid the countdown to Election Day.  We may be reminded to register to vote, make contributions, and perhaps to help get out the vote.  At the same time, there is another countdown, once the Hebrew month of Elul begins (this year, it started on September 4th). We may be reminded by the call of the shofar or simply the date… Read Article →

Community Blog Teenage daughter looking messages in a smartphone and ignoring her furious mother. Bad family communication concept by new technologies

Peacefulness in our Non-Stop World

You Asked, We Listened! In response to the most pressing needs and interests of parents raising teens, we at Parenting Through a Jewish Lens are excited to announce an updated Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens curriculum. As the parent of two not-yet-teenage daughters who are preoccupied with technology, one of the topics that especially interests me is the session Peacefulness in our Non-Stop World  (Shalom Bayit).  In Catherine… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Adina Allen

Self-Doubt: God’s Presence and The Enemy Within (Parshat Ki Teitzei, 21:10-25:19)

In preparation for the upcoming High Holy Days, during the month of Elul we embark on a process of self-reflection, evaluating the state of our lives and our souls. We recall those times we have missed the mark, and we seek forgiveness for the harm we’ve caused. And we ask what we need to shift in order to be our fullest, most alive selves in the coming year—in the word… Read Article →

Community Blog Daniel-Lehmann

Pluralistic Jewish Education in Boston

On September 7, 2016, Hebrew College President Rabbi Daniel Lehmann received the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) 2016  Rabbinic Award at its annual From Strength to Strength event at Temple Emanuel in Newton. Below is President Lehmann’s acceptance speech. I am honored to receive this year’s CJP rabbinic award and I am most grateful to CJP, my friend and mentor, Barry Shrage, and the colleagues and lay leaders I have been blessed to work with in our shared mission… Read Article →

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Return Again (Parashat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9)

This past Shabbat we celebrated Rosh Hodesh, the new moon of the month of Elul; sang songs of praise in the psalms of Hallel; and dedicated ourselves to a month of teshuva, of return and repentance, leading up to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. For 30 days, Jews around the world call ourselves to attention with a shofar blast every morning. According to Maimonides, this blast carries an embedded message: “Awaken you… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Klein

The Idolatry of Nostalgia (Parashat Re’eh, Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17)

“I was born near sunset.” Though the writer Michael Chabon made this statement about himself in the introduction to his book Summerland, he claims, rightly in my opinion, that it describes a part of the human condition. We seem to come naturally by the feeling of “belatedness,” as Chabon calls it – the sense of having “shown up just as light and fire were fading from the sky.” This sentiment… Read Article →

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“Not by Bread Alone” (Parashat Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)

A friend recently asked me the most basic (and profound) of questions: Why be religious? Like me, he was raised a secular humanist, in a highly cultured, assimilated academic family. While I became religiously observant and have dedicated my life to Torah learning and the Jewish people, including raising my children in Israel, he has remained largely a secular humanist, active in the Unitarian Church in Canada. Nevertheless, we have… Read Article →