Tag Archives: Jewish Identity

Community Blog daniel-schaefer

Counting the Omer: Cultivating Gratitude & Responsibility

When I first heard about Sefirat Ha’Omer (Counting of the Omer), I was intrigued by the notion that the seven weeks, or 49 days, between the holidays of Pesach and Shavuot could be a time for personal and communal transformation. The more I learned about these holidays, the more sense it made to me to envision this period as a journey. Just as the ancient Israelites traveled from Egypt to… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Arthur Green

Liberation: A Sacred Moment

(Passover; Readings for First Days–Exodus 12:21-51 and Leviticus 22:26-23:44) On the second day of Passover, Jews begin a period called sefirat ha-omer, when we publicly count off each day for the next fifty, concluding with the holiday of Shavuot. (Hence the Greek term Pentecost, for the fiftieth day.) While originally a practice used for calculating the agricultural season, the rabbinic tradition used it to establish a deep connection between these… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Michael-Rosenberg

The Mitzvah Of Getting Dirty

Parshat Metzora, Leviticus 14:1-15:3 I am an unabashed lover of Leviticus. And not just the “Be holy,” “Love your neighbor as yourself” second half of Leviticus, but especially the “slaughter the cow…sprinkle its blood” first half. “Be holy” sounds great, but what does it actually mean? What am I supposed to do to fulfill this vague entreaty? But the first half of Leviticus, which deals with how to perform sacrifices… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi Arthur Green

Judaism as a Path of Love

An address to Spiritual Directors International on  April 10, 2016 A rabbinic source dating from the early middle ages quotes the famous second-century sage Akiba as saying: “Had the Torah not been given, the world could have been conducted by the Song of Songs alone.” Quite a world!  Instead of the quaking, fiery mountain of Sinai, we would have only “Behold thou art beautiful, my love! My beloved has gone down… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah sharon-weiss-greenberg

Paid Maternity Leave: Are We “Ready”?

Parshat Tazria, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 6,420 Jewish educators from day schools, campuses, summer camps, synagogues, and other areas of Jewish life…When asked one question—the names of day schools with paid maternity leave—only 11 US schools could be named. While the US is debating how to make America great again, one place to start might be by implementing any semblance of the maternity leave policies that the Canadian, Israeli, and European educators… Read Article →

Community Blog stephanie-weller-levine

Asking BIG Questions: An Eser Perspective

When I signed up for Eser, I figured that if I’m going to explore hot-button issues and Jewish texts with a group of fellow participants, I’m going to ask the “ultimate” questions of soul and immortality. This year’s Eser theme is “10 Social Issues You Can’t Ignore,” and includes topics such as: race relations, immigration, climate change, and gun control. My feelings about two of the topics – capital punishment… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah shoshana-friedman

Strange Fire of the Heart

Parashat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 When I was in seventh grade, I had my first role in a play. It was Cinderella in Into The Woods, a dream part—one that ultimately marked the peak of my theater career. I loved going to rehearsals after school, going to the costume warehouse and trying on the rags and gown, singing with the little orchestra. But nothing prepared me for the sense of magic… Read Article →

Community Blog Michael-Rosenberg

Judge Garland and Jewish Identity

Yesterday President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to be the next Supreme Court justice. The Hebrew College community blog is not the place for discussing the judicial or political merits or shortcomings of this announcement, but one thing has been filling my Facebook feed that is worth thinking about here: if confirmed, Garland would be the fourth Jewish justice on the Court. To be sure, there is good reason for ethnic… Read Article →

Community Blog Daniel-Lehmann

Israel: Much More than an Experiment

An Organic, Complex, Ever-Evolving Reality Last week, Hebrew College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a statement on the College’s relationship to Israel developed and affirmed by key academic and administrative leaders. The purpose of this statement is to articulate and clarify the central role Israel plays in our educational mission. Hebrew College has a long-standing, passionate commitment to Israel and we feel it is important to communicate that commitment to our… Read Article →