Category Archives: Pluralistic Perspectives

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Suzanne Offit

Reembracing Sacred Time

Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21-24 Back in the late 1900s, when telephones were still commonly fixed to kitchen walls and telephone books were found in nearby cabinets, there was a memorable commercial on TV. I would see it when I watched a program at a set time every week. The ad was for the Yellow Pages, the business section of the phone book. “If it’s out there, it’s in here!” If… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

Hesed is at the heart of our work as educators, cantors, and as rabbis

This week, I had the privilege of attending the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC) 2018 Retreat –a wonderful gathering of educators, investors, and leaders in the world of Jewish day school education. Over the course of the retreat, we were asked to think deeply about the purpose of day school education. We were asked to reflect on our own values, and how we would bring those values to life in a… Read Article →

Community Blog Siamese kitten sniffing a hedgehog

Feelings and Thoughts

There’s probably nothing more important to parents than our kids’ well-being, their growth toward independence, and their ability to thrive in this world as both kids and adults.  And it’s our job to make that happen.  Our job to provide the resources, experiences, and dispositions that will help them be who they want to be and achieve what they want to achieve.  We want that really badly, and we take… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Lehmann

Inward and Outward Facing Holiness

Parshat Acharei Mot and Kedoshim (Leviticus 16:1-18:30 and 19:1-20:27) Just last week marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the modern State of Israel, and this week’s two Torah readings are often read around the time of Israel’s Independence Day. I would like to think about these two parshiot as a lens through which to view Israel’s sacred mission. The two parshiot that comprise this week’s Torah reading, Acharei… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Avi Killip

Return and Reintegration: A Rite and a Right

Parshat Metzora (Leviticus 14:1-15:33) We start from the assumption that every leper will eventually return to the community. The “יוֹם טָהֳרָתוֹ-day of cleansing” is a given. This is a radical idea. That the Torah instructs us to exile the leper during his ailment can seem harsh and maybe even cruel, but it reflects reality. There are always people on the margins of a society, who for one reason or another… Read Article →

Community Blog 4 religions

A Vote for Jewish Parenting from a Humanist Dad

Parenting is such a rich, beautiful, and convoluted experience. There’s nothing linear about it. Meeting with other Humanistic Jews, through this format, made me feel more connected to the congregation at Kahal B’raira—and to myself as a father and a husband. Parenting Through a Jewish Lens is a structured way to “practice” parenting through Jewish rituals. For my wife and me, it extended the fulfilling community experience we’re already enjoying… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

We who are the gardeners are also the garden

This season of the Omer, when we literally count the days from Passover to Shavuot, is all about getting from here to there. Rooted in the agricultural rhythms of ancient Israel, it’s a time of both anxiety and anticipation, as farmers waited to see what the season’s first wheat harvest would yield. In our mythic history, it’s about getting from Egypt to Sinai, from the world of Pharaoh to the… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Gray Myrseth

Teaching at the Edge of Mystery

Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 On a Tuesday towards the end of last summer, I sat in a classroom at my shul, across the table from two twelve-year-old boys. It was the first of many lessons we would have together in the course of their Bar Mitzvah studies and we were discussing their Torah portion assignments. One would be chanting from and speaking about Parshat Shlach Lecha, with its themes of… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Elisha Herb

On Partial Truths

Parasha for the  Last Day of Pesach A fire and brimstone Christian preacher once taught me that the cunning of the snake in Eden was his mastery of “half-truths.” He knew he could hook Eve by saying of the fruit of the forbidden tree, “You will not ‘surely die’— – God knows that on the day you eat of its fruit, your eyes will be opened and you will become… Read Article →

Community Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

80 Years of Paying It Forward with Music

Imagine sitting next to future composer, pianist, director and conductor Simon Sargon in Prozdor while the teacher is passing out papers and chanting verses from the book of Psalms. Simon’s ears are finely attuned to the music, poetry and sacred texts that surrounded him. It is part of his personal formation that has been influenced by special people and institutions. His father, an observant Jew, from Mumbai India and a… Read Article →