Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Avi Killip

Return and Reintegration: A Rite and a Right

Parshat Metzora (Leviticus 14:1-15:33) We start from the assumption that every leper will eventually return to the community. The “יוֹם טָהֳרָתוֹ-day of cleansing” is a given. This is a radical idea. That the Torah instructs us to exile the leper during his ailment can seem harsh and maybe even cruel, but it reflects reality. There are always people on the margins of a society, who for one reason or another… Read Article →

Community Blog 4 religions

A Vote for Jewish Parenting from a Humanist Dad

Parenting is such a rich, beautiful, and convoluted experience. There’s nothing linear about it. Meeting with other Humanistic Jews, through this format, made me feel more connected to the congregation at Kahal B’raira—and to myself as a father and a husband. Parenting Through a Jewish Lens is a structured way to “practice” parenting through Jewish rituals. For my wife and me, it extended the fulfilling community experience we’re already enjoying… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

We who are the gardeners are also the garden

This season of the Omer, when we literally count the days from Passover to Shavuot, is all about getting from here to there. Rooted in the agricultural rhythms of ancient Israel, it’s a time of both anxiety and anticipation, as farmers waited to see what the season’s first wheat harvest would yield. In our mythic history, it’s about getting from Egypt to Sinai, from the world of Pharaoh to the… Read Article →

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Teaching at the Edge of Mystery

Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 On a Tuesday towards the end of last summer, I sat in a classroom at my shul, across the table from two twelve-year-old boys. It was the first of many lessons we would have together in the course of their Bar Mitzvah studies and we were discussing their Torah portion assignments. One would be chanting from and speaking about Parshat Shlach Lecha, with its themes of… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Elisha Herb

On Partial Truths

Parasha for the  Last Day of Pesach A fire and brimstone Christian preacher once taught me that the cunning of the snake in Eden was his mastery of “half-truths.” He knew he could hook Eve by saying of the fruit of the forbidden tree, “You will not ‘surely die’— – God knows that on the day you eat of its fruit, your eyes will be opened and you will become… Read Article →

Community Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

80 Years of Paying It Forward with Music

Imagine sitting next to future composer, pianist, director and conductor Simon Sargon in Prozdor while the teacher is passing out papers and chanting verses from the book of Psalms. Simon’s ears are finely attuned to the music, poetry and sacred texts that surrounded him. It is part of his personal formation that has been influenced by special people and institutions. His father, an observant Jew, from Mumbai India and a… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

Our Children Are Leading the Way

Last Shabbat, in cities across the United States, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people gathered to march against gun violence. The demonstrations were galvanized by the extraordinary leadership of the high school students in Parkland, Florida, who have responded to their own personal tragedy by taking action with a sense of clarity and courage that has sort of taken our collective breath away. The protests were diverse—parents and grandparents,… Read Article →

Community Blog Karen Leitner

Parenting Is A Work in Progress

From the time we were married, my husband and I committed to raising a Jewish family. Life intervened however, and in the chaos of having three children and two careers, the implementation of this became a challenge. I fully intended to bring my babies to shul for their naming ceremonies…yet in the blink of an eye I now have 3, 6 and 9 year-old daughters, none of whom received that… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Minna Bromberg

Bring More Liberation to Your Seder Table: A Song of Complaints

First Day of Pesach The students in my singing and songwriting class—“consumers” at a hospital that offers inpatient services for people with serious mental illness—came into the chapel and began complaining before I could even say hello. One told me that her laryngitis won’t go away and the doctor won’t listen to her. Another said her back was really bothering her. A third said he really didn’t want to be… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Hebrew College Tablet Logo

63.5% of Torah Read, Only 36.5% to Go

I’m so glad to see all of you here this morning, and I’m grateful for your presence. I am throwing myself this siyyum to celebrate the Torah reading that I’ve done since I started rabbinical school. I didn’t know how to chant Torah when I started rabbinical school. Let’s be honest, I barely knew Hebrew at the beginning of rabbinical school. So my first bit of thanks should go to… Read Article →