All posts by Rabbi Minna Bromberg

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Minna Bromberg

Take These Words: Deuteronomy and Carrying Torah With Us on Our Journey

Parashat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22) “Kyewwwwww!” my nearly two-and-a-half year old daughter shrieks as she grabs hold of the object of her desire and lifts it high above her head. It is purple and spongy and covered in red polka dots and it is, in fact, a capital letter Q. To say that “Q” is her favorite letter would not be quite accurate. “Q” is actually, as far as I can… 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 →

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“If you see something, sing something.”

Parshat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9 “What are you writing about?” my mother asks. And I grumble at her because I’m sure that talking about it will only reveal how thoroughly undeveloped my thinking really is. But then I remember that — even though I am sitting in her house and using her computer — I am, in fact, a grown up and she is, in fact, someone who is… Read Article →

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Anchoring Ourselves in Torah

Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4 – 36:43 “Someday soon this rhyming volume, if you learn with proper speed/Little Louis Sanchez, will be given you to read.” So wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in a poem for a young nephew who had been named for him but who he’d never met. The poem ends: “[W]hile you thought of no one, nearly half the world away/Someone thought of Louis on the beach of Monterey!”… Read Article →

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“Where We Stopped Along the Way” (Parshat Matot/Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13)

The John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor, NY was a refuge for me and for my mother before me―a refuge from this world as it is, and at the same time a portal to worlds beyond our own. My mother remembers that the librarian would give her a box of cards to bring up to the top floor and look at through the stereoscope. I remember the heavy wooden… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Minna-Bromberg

Honoring the Blank Spaces

Parshat B’shalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16 Walking home from my set at the Jerusalem Folk Evening, I begin to realize that my abs hurt. This feeling after singing — like I’ve been overly enthusiastic doing crunches on the first day of a new workout regimen — is one I know mostly from the end of Yom Kippur; after that prayer marathon, my achy abs (a reminder that I have poured so much… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah 70faces-9.16.2015

Write Your Own Song

I was sitting recently with some fellow teachers, discussing the challenge of getting our teenage students to study texts with the depth and attentiveness we think they deserve. One person pointed out that this was particularly difficult when it came to texts they had seen before; passages we thought were worthy of another look, such as verses of Torah, are often dismissed with, “But, we’ve read this before.” What is… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah cherries

Torah Gone Wild

I am standing in weeds past my knees, tasting young mustard seeds. Mustard, with its small bright-yellow flowers reaching up on spindly stems, has moved into our backyard. Each small seed pod — pointy and narrow and fuzzy — bursts on my tongue. First, there is nothing, and then a tiny explosion of unmistakable mustard flavor. I am in awe of these scrappy plants that found their way here unbidden. In fact, the… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Name Tag

These Are My Names

When my husband and I made aliyah last August, I was looking forward to bringing my name with me to Israel. I felt confident that my name would feel at home here immediately, even if I did not. While “Minna” is not a common name in Israel, it’s easily understood and certainly not the oddity that it is in the US. Unlike the stories of immigrants having their names mangled… Read Article →