Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Hebrew College Tablet Logo

“God Has Placed in My Mouth A New Song”

Note: This message was originally distributed on Feb. 10, 2017 to the Hebrew College community, alumni and friends. This coming Shabbat, two moments converge on our sacred calendar – the holiday of Tu b’Shvat, on which we celebrate the new year for trees, and Shabbat Shirah, on which we chant the Song of the Sea. These two moments call out to us with a deep and important reminder: the possibility of… Read Article →

Humans of Hebrew College Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Not So Sour Kangaroo

                              Humans of Hebrew College #HumansHC “I just finished playing the Sour Kangaroo in a production of  ‘Seussical the Musical’ at Open Door Theater in Acton, MA — a community theater whose mission is to provide accessible theater experiences. Our cast included 93 kids and adults ages 9-60, many with special needs or disabilities. All the shows had supertitles so the lines and lyrics were… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Dan Judson, Director of Professional Development and Placement

I Thought Everyone Ended with “God Bless America”

Parshat B’shalach, Exodus 13:17−17:16 The political events of the past few months in the US have left me, like so many people, feeling at sea. What I thought I knew and believed about this country was not right. There is more misogyny, more racism, more anti-semitism, more debasement of the political culture than I imagined people would put up with. I have friends who have taken refuge and inspiration in… Read Article →

Community Blog Kindness

Parenting for Kindness

Since hateful words and actions have played such a large role in our collective experience and consciousness over the last year, it was fitting that our last PTJL session at Temple Beth Elohim focused on the opposite of hate: kindness. Our incredible group of twelve parents— with children ranging from newborn to 13 years old— spent our time together struggling with the profound disappointment and fear we feel as parents when… Read Article →

Community Blog Lexi family 1-17

Shema Moments

Being a parent to three young children, though full of joys and rewards, is also one of — if not the most — challenging experiences my husband and I have faced together. It can feel overwhelming, exhausting and full of countless unknowns. One of the most helpful aspects of Parenting Through a Jewish Lens has been the opportunity to reflect on the challenging moments of the day with other like-minded… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Rabbi Ma'ayan Sands

Moses, Exodus and Being a Messenger of God

Dvar Torah for Congregation Mishkan Tefillah, Parashat Bo, February 3, 2017* The Biblical teaching that we are created “b’tzelem Elohim”, in the image of God, is a cornerstone of Judaism. Often, we understand it to be a mandate of how we should act toward and treat each other. Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik has another idea. He says is that each one of us is a messenger, created B’tzelem Elohim, in the… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman

Turning Back to the Center

Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 In our buildings and with our bodies, we strive to turn physically toward the holy. We orient synagogue buildings toward the ancient place of the Holy of Holies, the innermost part of the ancient Temple, and turn our bodies in that direction for prayer. Approaching and leaving the bimah, from which services are led and the Torah is read, we keep our faces toward the ark and… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Nehemia Sq

Tu Bi-Shvat: Nurturing the Tree of Life

To judge by our classical sources, Tu bi-Shvat barely counts as even a minor holiday. The Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 2a and 14a) mentions the fifteenth day of the month of Shvat as the day which initiates a new agricultural year with respect to the tithing of fruit trees, but specifies no liturgy, ritual, or celebration. There is little reference to Tu bi-Shvat in the early medieval authorities, and even Rabbi… Read Article →

Humans of Hebrew College Hebrew College Tablet Logo

The Culling

  “I’m pretty sure I don’t deserve to be called a ‘writer,’ though I wish that I did. I started writing fiction late in life and on a bit of a lark. In 2010, my wife and daughter resolved to write a novel during Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) and I didn’t want to be left out. I ended up being the only one of the three of us to… Read Article →