Category Archives: Pluralistic Perspectives

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Engage in a New Conversation about Israel with Open Circle Jewish Learning and iEngage

Few subjects in Jewish life today evoke as much controversy – and anxiety – as the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. So when we decided to offer the Hartman Institute’s “iEngage” video curriculum, “Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” in our Adult Education program at Temple Israel of Natick, I wasn’t quite sure how it would go. Every summer the Hartman Institute brings hundreds of Rabbis and lay leaders from across all… Read Article →

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Making Connections

Humans of Hebrew College #HumansHC “Studying the writings of Hasidic masters with my beloved teachers, Rabbis Ebn Leader and Nehemia Polen, connected my own experience to its Jewish roots, and gave me the language with which to open a Jewish spiritual conversation with my students.” (Rabbi Jamie Kotler, 2016 graduate of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College.)

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Gratitude in the Morning

On a recent drive to preschool, my 4-year-old daughter and I were talking about how we say “thank you” to God at bedtime. She asked, “Can we say thank you in the morning too?” I responded to my daughter saying we can say thanks whenever she wants, and that our tradition has a special morning prayer just for this purpose called Modeh Ani. מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ, מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

Speaking Torah: Mi Yodea. Who knows?

I have come to believe that the most important verse in the entire megillah—the verse that represents the pivotal turning point in the Purim story – comes near the end of chapter four, when Mordechai sends a message to Esther, urging her to reveal her identity to King Achashverosh and plead on behalf of the Jewish people.  Remarkably, Mordechai’s message to Esther hinges on two simple words – two words… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Adina Allen

Glitz, Glam and God

Parshat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10) “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts!” Chanting these words in the Kedusha, we stand, feet together, mimicking the angels on high. As we press up onto our toes, yearning for that Divine connection, we take on the posture of these pure, ethereal beings without physical characteristics that exist only in spirit. Our conception of holiness often follows on this track, conjuring images of those… Read Article →

Community Blog Lara Dyan Cohen

Hitting ‘Reset’ on My Parenting

“Mommy,” my eight-year-old daughter asked, “How did you learn how to take care of babies and kids? How did you know what to do?” What timing! It was early Sunday morning and we were driving to Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley; she was going to attend Limud Hebrew School, and I was going to attend Parenting Through a Jewish Lens with Rabbi Philip Sherman. As all parents quickly discover, there… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Adam Lavitt

Hope in the Margins

Parashat Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27-19) Speaking with a woman in hospice care, she told me she could not watch the news anymore because it depressed her too much. Though she was facing the end of her life, the turbulence of these times was utterly unbearable to her. In her despair I saw reflected back to me my own certainty, as I look into the public sphere, that our society is stuck…. Read Article →

Community Blog T Shalom 2018 Heather

The Value of Community

The tumult of work commitments, aging parents, children with different needs, nurturing relationships, and hobbies — how can anyone possibly balance all of that while caring for young children — not to mention caring for oneself? While Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL) doesn’t provide easy solutions, it does offer a framework for discussion and thought, a chance to delve into age-old wisdom and modern interpretations. As the instructor for… Read Article →

Community Blog Leah Raub and Gershon

Letting Our Values Lead the Way…

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens has been a truly introspective and transformative class. Not only was our instructor Jeff Amshalem a thoughtful and insightful leader, but were we surrounded by other parents who lent new ideas and camaraderie to the daily parenting struggles we so often sweep aside. Jeff encouraged us to look at parenting from various angles and pinpoint what our ultimate goals and dreams are for our children…. Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Klein

From Reception to Responsibility: God’s Ode to Restraint

Parashat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24.18) A lot can change in a week. It was only a week ago that the Israelites stood at Mount Sinai – through the thunder, lightning and shofar blasts, experiencing the overwhelming revelation of God’s presence. And then this week, the parasha opens with God saying to Moshe, “These are the laws you must place before” [the Israelites] (Exodus 21:1). Gone are the Divine pyrotechnics. Gone is… Read Article →