All posts by Rabbi Adina Allen

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 →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Adina Allen

Nurturing Art: The Sacred Work of Creativity

Parshat Tetzaveh Exodus 27:20-30:10 Walk into any room of adults and tell them they are going to engage with art materials or explore a topic through creativity—immediately, most people in the room tense up. They turn to each another and say, in nervous voices and muffled tones,: “I could never color inside the lines”, “I failed art in kindergarten”, “my sister got all the creative genes”, “you don’t want me… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Moses

Inhabiting Vulnerability

Parshat Ha’azinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52 “You may view the land from a distance, but you shall not enter it—the land that I am giving to the Israelite people” (Deuteronomy 35:52). This week’s Torah reading, Parshat Ha’azinu, ends with this devastating reminder to Moses that despite having led the people out of Egypt and through the trials and tribulations of wilderness for forty years, he will not be allowed to enter the… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah 175px-MaciejowskiBibleManoahAndWife

The Morning After

Last week, as we marked the holiday of Shavuot, many of us in the wee hours between darkness and dawn marked our receiving of Torah on Mount Sinai by studying Torah all night. After 49 days of counting that began on the second night of Passover, we have finally reached the apex of the journey we began then. As it is described in the Torah itself, our experience of receiving… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah heart stone

Power, Oppression and the Hardened Heart

This week’s Torah portion begins with God instructing Moses: “Come to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart” (Exodus 10:1). The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart is one of the most confusing aspects of the Exodus story, but has perhaps the most to teach us about freedom and oppression in our world today. Before Moses ever approaches Pharaoh to plead for the Israelites’ release from slavery, it seems that God has… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah images

Something New, Higher and Unexpected

Jews are known as the People of the Book. This designation speaks to Judaism’s focus on the intellect, its emphasis on theological argumentation and dedicated study. However, it is clear from the Torah that Jews also come from a long line of people rooted in the earth — from the first humans in the Garden of Eden, placed there to till and to tend, to Moses, who learned how to… Read Article →