All posts by Rabbi Leora Abelson

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Leora Abelson

Death as a Sacred Moment

Parashat Chukkat (Numbers 19:1-22:1) When June rolls around, I feel a certain sadness that contrasts with the natural world, with the bursting of life in the temperate northeast where I live. June is when the trees are in full flower, the grass is thick, and the days are long. This joyful context means it always takes me a minute to remember why I feel sad—because my grandfathers died in June,… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Leora Abelson

Intimacy Through Repair

Parshat Aharei-Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30 In an interview on NPR, Nadia Bolz-Weber—the founder and pastor of the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver—talks about knowing that she will, at some point, disappoint or hurt the members of her community. For her, it is a question of when, not if. She names this often, and she invites her congregants to decide ahead of time to “stick around” when it happens…. Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Leora Abelson

Honoring Our Burial Grounds

Parshat Chayei Sarah, Genesis 23:1-25:18 When I traveled to Hungary and Poland this past summer with a group of women including four rabbinical students, one rabbi, and the director of a Jewish social justice organization, we visited many burial grounds. We went to cemeteries where important Jewish historical figures are buried, and others where almost all of the gravestones have been stolen or destroyed. (Almost no one visits those cemeteries;… Read Article →

Community Blog Leora Abelson

Welcoming the new academic year

I recently asked a group of interfaith clergy, “Do you ever find yourself responding to needs that people have not exactly articulated, but that you notice?” I was surprised by how affirmatively they answered, and it got me thinking about how hard it really is to articulate our spiritual needs. Just learning to recognize them is deep work. Figuring out how to name them, how to give them voice through… Read Article →