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Counting in Binary

Humans of Hebrew College #HumansHC “I started on a path to becoming a Jewish professional years ago, then became a software engineer, and now am back at Hebrew college studying to be become a cantor. A software engineer, like a musician, spends all day obsessing over formal language, refining it, mixing creativity and technical skill to turn ordinary silicon, wood, brass or, for a singer, simply air into something that… Read Article →

Community Blog snow day

In Praise of This Very Moment

My 5-year-old son just walked himself next door to play with the neighbors. Getting ready for the fifty-foot journey, with the temperature hovering around 12° and plow berms rising higher than he is tall, he fought with me. Sitting down may make it easier to get his snow pants on, but it’s screamingly awful that I’m right about that. The zipper gets stuck, and when I reach out to help… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Avi Strausberg

The Promise of Exile

Parshat Va’era (Exodus 6:2-9:35) The year I spent living and traveling in New Zealand was a year in which I lived entirely on what I could carry on my body. All of us backpackers, bouncing at once together and separate from hostel to hostel, were reduced to the same couple of unwashed t-shirts and pants, essentialized versions of ourselves, stripped of what made us distinguishable from one another. It was… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

Rabbi Daniel Judson Named New Rabbinical School Dean

A Letter from President-Elect Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld Dear friends, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Rabbi Daniel Judson as the new Dean of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School. Rabbi Arthur Green (founding Dean and Rector of the Rabbinical School) and I have asked Dan to assume this role. We are confident that he is the right person to carry the program forward, working closely with both of us as we… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

Speaking Torah: Some say…

“To act in the image of the God of Exodus is to reach  out to each other  with our own  strong  hands and outstretched arms.” As we open our calendars to the start of the secular New Year this week, we open the Torah scroll to the beginning of Sefer Shemot, the first chapters of the Exodus story. It is difficult to say exactly where the journey out of Egypt begins. Some… Read Article →

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Shemot / Ignition

Moses said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight. Why is the bush not consumed by its burning?” (Exodus 3:3) God’s memory burns in capital letters and your doubt is the kindling its million mouths reach for. The generations in your blood are a coral necklace, each bead worn blunt by grinding years, desert blush riding high on the surface. Your clothed feet, your naked questions can take you… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

With Strong Hands and Outstretched Arms

Parashat Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1) The story of our departure from Egypt begins with a cry—the deep, inarticulate cry of pain and longing that rises up from the bellies of the Israelite slaves and ascends to heaven. It is their cry, in this week’s Torah portion, that—after generations of slavery—finally evokes a response from God, and sets the process of liberation in motion. “The Israelites were groaning under their bondage and… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah rachel-adelman

Brothers on the Edge

Parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26) The Book of Genesis revolves around stories of rivalry between brothers, from Cain and Abel to Joseph and his brothers. All entail terrible acts of violence—murder, banishment, stolen blessing, plotted revenge, and abduction into slavery—exacerbated by God’s favor of the younger son. Do we see any moral evolution from that original act of fratricide to the relationship between Jacob’s sons, the twelve founding fathers of Israel?… Read Article →

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Practicing Presence: Rain, Snow, or Shine

Humans of Hebrew College #HumansHC “It’s important for me to be regularly in a context where I am functioning as a Christian cleric. Come rain, snow, or shine, my wife and I lead a weekly 7-minute outdoor worship service every Thursday from 12:20-12:27 on the plaza outside Boston University’s Marsh Chapel for anyone who stops by. (My wife is part of the chaplaincy team at Boston University, too.) My work at Marsh Chapel is… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Suzanne Offit

How Will the Story End?

Parashat Vayigash  (Genesis 44:18-47:27) “Hinei mah tov u’ma na’im shevet achim gam yachad.” “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers sit all together.” — Psalm 133:1 I first learned these words and several musical renditions of this textual snippet as a child, long before I could even translate the psalmist’s words into English. Years later, having learned the literal meaning of this verse, I began to contemplate its meaning more… Read Article →