Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Avi Strausberg

The Portable God Box (Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei, Exodus 35:1-40:38)

I’m hesitant to admit it, but I didn’t grow up camping. I’d like for others to imagine me as someone who could hack it wandering around the woods for a few days, but in fact, I’m, quite inept when it comes to setting up tents—or really, constructing anything. There’s something about all of the bending, interlocking rods, those “easy-to-understand” pictorial directions with arrows pointing here and there—my brain goes into… Read Article →

Pluralistic Perspectives Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Living Torah

“As the grandchild of three Holocaust survivors, the affirmation of ‘Never Again’ is very personal to me.  But that doesn’t just mean never again for Jews.  It means never again for anyone.  This commitment is not just a response to specific traumatic events in history.  I believe, as Hillel taught, that it is the essence of Torah: Do not do unto others that which you find hateful.  As a rabbinical… Read Article →

Community Blog michael-shire

Torah Godly Play

How do we help nurture the innate sense of God in our children? This was the question I was exploring when I came across a pedagogic method called Godly Play that is designed to do exactly that. Drawing upon the sacred stories of the Bible, Godly Play invites children into the entrancement of the narrative while leaving room for wonder, creativity and imagination as the child builds their own picture… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

What Went Wrong, and Other Questions (Parshat Ki Tissa, Exodus 30:11-34:35)

What went wrong? That is the question that hovers over this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tissa. One moment, we are with Moses on top of Mount Sinai, silent witnesses to his intimate encounter with the Divine Presence, watching as he receives the tablets of the covenant, the perfect revelation of God’s word. This is the gift we imagine we long for: The Definitive Truth, placed into human hands. Irrefutable, immutable… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Hebrew College Tablet Logo

“You may not turn your back and say amen”

Note: This message was originally distributed on March. 8th, 2017 to the Hebrew College  community, alumni and friends. Dear friends, One of my favorite practices on Purim is the mitzvah of mishloach manot — delivering gifts of food to friends and neighbors. Rabbi David Hartman relates this mitzvah to the fact that the Book of Esther, which we read on Purim, does not mention the name of God. Purim speaks to all… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Cantor Ken Richmond

Listening to Darth Vader, the Good Guy

(Parashat Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10/Shabbat Zachor, Deuteronomy 25:17-19) After a Purim puppet show for the toddlers in our temple’s nursery school, the rabbi and I asked the kids what they were planning to dress up as for Purim. One of the boys raised his hand and answered “Darth Vader.” “Oh, you’re going to be a bad guy!” exclaimed the rabbi. The boy answered assuredly, “No, he’s a good guy.” I considered… Read Article →

Pluralistic Perspectives Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Shabbat Shalom

“Last year we started weekly Friday night Shabbat dinners. We have family dinners on other nights, but on Shabbat the tone is different.  We have the positive expectation of listening to each other, really being together and disconnecting from technology. We bring the spirit of rest and peace into Shabbat and reinterpret ancient prayers to be relevant to our lives now. It’s wonderful – my son expects and loves the routine, and we all… Read Article →

Community Blog Dan Brosgol

The Power of Service: Prozdor in Haifa

“You came all the way to Israel just to volunteer?” Yes, we did, actually. Thanksgiving weekend saw a rash of devastating wildfires across Israel, and in particular, in Haifa, our sister city. 60,000 residents were evacuated as the sky filled with smoke and flames, fires raced up the valleys in between residential neighborhoods, and dozens of homes and buildings were damaged or destroyed across the city and the Carmel region…. Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Josh-Weisman-

Celebrating Women’s Mark on the Textual Tradition from Esther to Today’s Teachers of Jewish Text

The holiday of Purim, whose observance centers around the public chanting of the Book of Esther, is a yearly opportunity to reflect on women in the Jewish textual tradition, and women’s relationship to it. A woman, after all, has top billing as one of two heroes of the story, a true rarity within the Bible. With courage and humility, Esther skillfully maneuvers of the nuances of her socio-political context to… Read Article →