All posts by Emma Kippley-Ogman

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 →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman

The Comfort of Our Own Significance

(Parashat Va’Etchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11) Every week, we invite our ancient prophets to address us through the haftarah (the prophetic reading follows the Torah reading), bringing their vision, their encouragement, and, especially in the previous three weeks leading up to Tisha b’Av, their excoriation. It can be hard to hear the criticism of contemporary prophets; sometimes the ancient words echoing across the millennia can better draw us into the self-examination we… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman

With Water, String, and Laughter: Finding the Divine

Parshat Pekudei, Exodus 38:21 – 40:38 This month, the Torah has led us on a comprehensive tour of the folk art museum of ancient Israelite desert wandering, a full accounting of the physical culture of our portable sacred space in the wilderness. The prophetic readings paired with the weekly Torah readings amplify the descriptions of the richly textured but makeshift place for the Divine among us, the mishkan or Tabernacle,… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah genesis

Joy and Loss: Holding the Fullness of Possibility

Parshat Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 The Torah conceives and births generations of children before we hear a woman’s voice speak of what it is to be pregnant.  In this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Toldot, we hear Rebecca, the second matriarch of the Jewish people, in response to her twin pregnancy:  “The two children wrestled within her, and she said, ‘If so, why am I here?’ She went to search for God,… Read Article →