Tag Archives: Jewish Education

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 →

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 →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Minna Bromberg

Bring More Liberation to Your Seder Table: A Song of Complaints

First Day of Pesach The students in my singing and songwriting class—“consumers” at a hospital that offers inpatient services for people with serious mental illness—came into the chapel and began complaining before I could even say hello. One told me that her laryngitis won’t go away and the doctor won’t listen to her. Another said her back was really bothering her. A third said he really didn’t want to be… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin

Tzav: Offering Our Whole Selves

Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36) My first summer on staff with the PICO faith-based national organizing network, I heard an encouraging presentation about a model state federation, call it OSC, and how it was changing the politics of its state. Yet, the following summer, all of the OSC staff were inexplicably missing from the national staff gathering. I later learned from my friend and former OSC staffer, whom I’ll call Emily,… Read Article →

Humans of Hebrew College Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Learning to Engage Interfaith Families

Humans of Hebrew College #HumansHC “I’m a talker, which is part of why I am pleased to have a job where I get to talk about Judaism every single week. It also means that, in addition to my public conversations, I find myself in lots of regular, day-to-day conversations about Judaism. Over the past many years, it became quite apparent that Jewish intermarriage (or interfaith marriage, or interfaithless marriage, depending… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

Speaking Torah: “Betzalel came and healed the wound.”

Last week’s parsha, Ki Tisa, recounts what is quite possibly the lowest moment in the relationship between God and the people of Israel in the entire Torah. Last week, when Moshe and God became aware of the chasm between what was happening on top of the mountain and what was happening down below, it was devastating. Whatever made the people build that golden calf—whether it was lack of imagination, or… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Alyson Solomon

A Practice: To Live Life as a Contribution

Vayakhel-Pekudei (Exodus 35:1-40:38) In parshat Va’yakhel we find the Israelites, convoked, regally assembled at the bottom of the mountain. Moses tells the community eleh d’varim, “these are the things” that connect us to YHVH – the Source (35:1-4). This we spend six days creating: we weave, paint, send emails, drive carpools, buy, trade, and cook—and on the seventh day, we rest. On Shabbat, we take in the beauty and grandeur… 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 →

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 →