Tag Archives: Jewish Education

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

No Guarantees for the Righteous

Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:3-36:43 The Torah is famously laconic about the emotional lives of its central characters. We are left to imagine what Abraham was feeling as he walked up Mount Moriah with his son Isaac at his side, or what Rachel felt when she discovered that her older sister Leah had laid with Jacob in the marital bed intended for her. It is all the more striking, then, that… Read Article →


Prayer and Meditation in the Aftermath of the Paris Attacks

Last weekend, I served as a teacher at an interreligious peace conference in North Carolina, at a beautiful retreat center at the edge of the Great Smokey Mountains. As we wound down programming on Friday night, word spread throughout the assembled group about the terrorist attacks in Paris. The juxtaposition of our retreat theme and bucolic setting with the violence on the blood-soaked streets of the French capital weighed heavily on… Read Article →


The Long Journey of Cultivating Gratitude

Occasionally, Seventy Faces will include in its publication schedule a timeless column that we especially like—or one that is newly relevant—from our archives. In this week before Thanksgiving, we hope you enjoy (or enjoy again) Judith Rosenbaum’s reflection on gratitude in connection with this week’s Torah portion. Parshat Vayetze, Genesis 28:10-32:3 Next week, we will celebrate Thanksgiving – which for many of us is less about gratitude and more about… Read Article →

Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Rabin’s Handshake

I won’t forget that Saturday night 4th November 1994, twenty years ago, as we returned from dinner with friends to turn on the news and hear of the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. Stunned and shocked, the British Jewish Community (where I was living) turned out 5,000 strong for the memorial ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall where ministers of HM Government, Jewish leaders, rabbis and foreign… Read Article →


Joy and Loss: Holding the Fullness of Possibility

Parshat Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 The Torah conceives and births generations of children before we hear a woman’s voice speak of what it is to be pregnant.  In this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Toldot, we hear Rebecca, the second matriarch of the Jewish people, in response to her twin pregnancy:  “The two children wrestled within her, and she said, ‘If so, why am I here?’ She went to search for God,… Read Article →


Becoming Like Prophets

Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 “Can one man really change the world?” the young senator from Illinois was asked in his Presidential election race. He was comparatively unknown and he had only served one term in the Senate. But he defeated nominees far more experienced and renowned in his run for the Presidency; his great oratory and ability to sense the mood of the times won hearts and minds to… Read Article →

Hebrew College Tablet Logo

“If I Were a Rich Man”: A Sukkot Reflection

The great sage, Teviyeh, from “Fiddler on the Roof,” gives voice to the universal issues of poverty and wealth with humor and candor as he calls out to God: “It may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. After all, with your help, I’m starving to death. Oh, dear Lord. You made many, many poor people. I realize, of course, it’s no shame to be poor … but it’s no… Read Article →

deborah skolnick einhorn

Hebrew College Convocation Kavanah

My 7-year-old son got hearing aids (which we affectionately call ear robots) last week.  We’ve been following his hearing loss for several years but, let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to tell if a 4 or 5 year old has trouble hearing or just trouble listening.  He’ll wear them for the rest of his life because once you lose hearing, you never regain it. It seems to me that Elul… Read Article →


Telling Stories of Trauma for Healing and Compassion

On the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, a group in Japan launched a project in which storytellers are training to retell the experiences of survivors. My grandfather participated in a similar project 20 years ago, the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which sought to collect testimony from survivors before the experience of the Holocaust was lost to the world. My family’s participation in this project instilled… Read Article →


Pursuing Justice, Pursued by Love

A few weeks ago, I went with a friend to a prayer service and march, protesting the building of a high-pressure fracked gas pipeline through a residential neighborhood in the Boston area. Standing in a soccer field with parents, kids, and dogs, we sang songs of hope and resilience, crying out against the building of new fossil fuel infrastructure, especially when the town government itself opposes the project. Marching for… Read Article →