Tag Archives: Jewish Identity

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 →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Hebrew College Tablet Logo

63.5% of Torah Read, Only 36.5% to Go

I’m so glad to see all of you here this morning, and I’m grateful for your presence. I am throwing myself this siyyum to celebrate the Torah reading that I’ve done since I started rabbinical school. I didn’t know how to chant Torah when I started rabbinical school. Let’s be honest, I barely knew Hebrew at the beginning of rabbinical school. So my first bit of thanks should go to… 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 →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Michael Rosenberg

Sacred Fat, Vulnerability, and God’s Choice

Parashat Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26) It’s the time of the year when I’ve got fat on my mind. We’ve arrived in the Torah reading cycle to the book of Leviticus, and there are a lot of fleshy, embodied, animal parts going on. We’ve got limbs and meat and blood; it’s a lot—for some too much—to keep track of. But I think that this year, it’s particularly important for us to think… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

“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 Mónica Gomery

Teaching God our Torah

Parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35) This week, revelation manifests as a rollercoaster in directionality, as Moses rises and falls from the base to the peak of Mount Sinai over and over again: “And the Lord said to Moses: “Go, descend, for your people….” (32: 7) “… On the next day Moses said to the people: “You have committed a grave sin. And now I will ascend to the Lord;” (32:30)… Read Article →

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Engage in a New Conversation about Israel with Open Circle Jewish Learning and iEngage

Few subjects in Jewish life today evoke as much controversy – and anxiety – as the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. So when we decided to offer the Hartman Institute’s “iEngage” video curriculum, “Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” in our Adult Education program at Temple Israel of Natick, I wasn’t quite sure how it would go. Every summer the Hartman Institute brings hundreds of Rabbis and lay leaders from across all… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Adina Allen

Glitz, Glam and God

Parshat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10) “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts!” Chanting these words in the Kedusha, we stand, feet together, mimicking the angels on high. As we press up onto our toes, yearning for that Divine connection, we take on the posture of these pure, ethereal beings without physical characteristics that exist only in spirit. Our conception of holiness often follows on this track, conjuring images of those… Read Article →