Tag Archives: Jewish Identity

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Elisha Herb

Hope is the Thing We Can Do

(Parshat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26) Diversity can be an excruciating experiment. One person’s story can unravel another’s; our all-too-human desire to be able to narrate our lives in some coherent way can be profoundly challenged by someone else’s need for coherence. At times, diversity fosters a sense of chaos, and efforts to find coherence become especially challenging as our perceptions of difference come into focus. We may feel as if things… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Ariel Evan Mayse

Remembering the Sacredness of Speech

Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 Our parashah is in many ways the peak of the dramatic Joseph story. Once cast into bondage in Egypt by his jealous brothers, Joseph has now risen, against the odds, and through his political acumen and remarkable ability to decipher dreams, has become the Pharaoh’s second-in command. A merciless famine in the land of Israel has driven his estranged family to come before Pharaoh’s minister in supplication for… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Klein

Grounded in Uncertainty

Parashat Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 Last spring, a Federal Reserve survey reported that 47% of people living in the United States could not come up with $400 in an emergency. The striking thing about this statistic is not that some people would struggle to pay for unexpected expenses like basic car or home repairs, but that nearly half of the country would. The world we inhabit and the lives we lead… Read Article →

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Does God Have Ears?

“My 9 year old grandson asked me, ‘Savta (Grandma), does God have ears that really work?’ That was my impetus for writing this story. When a young child asks that kind of question, what he really wants to know is whether he can trust that the world is a safe place. In the story Savta asks Sam a lot of questions. She understands that children are naturally spiritual beings and… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah minna-bromberg-100px

Anchoring Ourselves in Torah

Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4 – 36:43 “Someday soon this rhyming volume, if you learn with proper speed/Little Louis Sanchez, will be given you to read.” So wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in a poem for a young nephew who had been named for him but who he’d never met. The poem ends: “[W]hile you thought of no one, nearly half the world away/Someone thought of Louis on the beach of Monterey!”… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah michael-shire

Acts of Remembrance

Parshat Vayetze, Genesis 28:10-32:3 Why is it that when we want to get a sense of the sacred, we close our eyes? When we want to feel the holiness of a place or a time, we look inside, and close off the outside. We feel that there must be something out there, but in order to see it, we go inward, shutting our eyes. Ani y’shena v’libi er, it says… Read Article →

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Linking the Generations

“I was privileged to work with a student from Ecuador who was not able to have a bat mitzvah ceremony at home, so we conducted the service in Brooklyn, where much of her family lived. We worked together for a year via Skype. I also helped her grandfather put on tefilin. He is a Holocaust survivor who left Germany as a child on the Kindertransport, and this was the first… Read Article →

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My Son the Rabbi

“I am proud that he is able to find so many contemporary applications for words written so long ago, especially when there are lessons to be learned from difficult portions.” (Helaine Braunig, mother of Rabbi Jordan Braunig, Rab’14, commenting on her son’s 70 Faces of Torah blog post in last week’s The Huffington Post.) Read Rabbi Braunig’s blog post: http://huff.to/28KwjvP . Learn more about the The Rabbinical School of Hebrew College Interested in finding a… Read Article →

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Spirituality & Social Justice

                              “I work to create authentic relationships and support others to do the same. It is through these relationships that we find God and where, I would argue, we find the power to transform ourselves and the world for the better.” (Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin, Rab’11, Director, Clergy and Leadership Development, ECCO, Lynn, Mass.) Learn about The… Read Article →

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“Heschel would be pleased”

“My first job out of college was teaching at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I loved my work, teaching both Jewish studies and Phys. Ed. I was also very proud to be associated with a school named after the outstanding theologian and activist. I greatly admired Heschel’s unusual blend of piety, poeticism, and commitment to social justice. One afternoon at dismissal, standing in… Read Article →