Tag Archives: Jewish Values

Community Blog Rabbi Arthur Green

Hebrew College Presidential Installation Address: Rabbi Arthur Green

.בעוד שלוש שנים, תחוג המכללה העברית מאה שנה להיווסדה Three years from now, Hebrew College will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of its founding. Throughout this near-century, this institution and the community of faculty, students, alumni, and supporters who constitute it have been committed to the goal of building and strengthening the Jewish future. We do so through education, teaching the great literary and spiritual treasures of the Jewish tradition, whenever… Read Article →

Community Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Can There Be Joy Amidst Vulnerability?

The Torah makes it very clear that we are to be joyful on Sukkot. We read in Deuteronomy, “V’samachta b’chagecha … You shall rejoice in your festival … v’haita ach sameach … and you shall have nothing but joy.”[1] Given that Sukkot goes by another name, z’man simchateinu, “the time of our rejoicing,” it is no surprise that these verses have become the major theme song of our festival. And… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Avi Killip

The Torah needs a Trigger Warning

Parashat Ki Tetzei  (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19) My summer began at a panel conversation about “What Feminist Torah Needs to Look Like.” Professor Judith Plaskow, a gadol (one of the greats!) in the field, challenged the 300 people in the room to not skip over the difficult parts of Torah in our teaching and sermons: “There is so much richness in the Torah that it is easy in any specific instance to… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Shira Shazeer

Blessing, Curse, and the Freedom to Choose

Parshat Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17) I may have been at summer camp the first time I heard the story, attributed to the itinerant Rabbi Haim of Romshishok, of the difference between heaven and hell. Reb Haim, the story goes, had the opportunity to visit the world to come, and was brought first to see hell. There, he observed banquet tables laden with food, surrounded by people clearly suffering from hunger. On… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Klein

We Don’t Live by Bread Alone

Parashat Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) “In L.A., nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other just so we can feel something.” (Paul Haggis’ Crash) With these opening lines, the movie Crash captures a truth about the human condition – we need each other. For practical, emotional, spiritual reasons and more, we are meant to be in… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi JIm Morgan

Shabbat and the Persistence of Slavery

Parashat Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:27-7:11) Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.  – James Baldwin Nearly seventy years after its publication, Ralph Ellison’s masterpiece, The Invisible Man, continues to resonate with our nation’s continued experience of race, violence, and blindness. The horrifying scene of white cop murdering an unarmed black man, Brother Tod Clifton, finds echoes in too many American places, as… Read Article →

Humans of Hebrew College Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Cantor, Spiritual Leader, Social Activist

Humans of Hebrew College #HumansHC “It’s my first day ‘on the job’ as Temple Emanu-El’s spiritual leader, and I’m sitting in Boston Logan Airport practicing my leyning for Pinchas and waiting to catch a flight to San Diego for two days of immigration rights advocacy and learning with Mijente and HIAS. I’m so grateful for T’ruah’s organization of this trip (here’s looking at you, Rabbi Salem Pearce, Rab`18) and for the… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Cantor Ken Richmond

Where have you come from and where are you going?

Starting Points & Destinations on our Journeys Parashat Massei (Numbers 33:1-36:13) A middle school history teacher once asked my class why people immigrate; our suggestions all fell under her simple overarching answer, that people immigrate in search of a better life. Almost all Americans, the Jewish community included, are descendants of immigrants; many of us have stories of how our families came to the United States. My Zayda, Sol (Shleime… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Gray Myrseth

Justice in the Wilderness

As a person who grew up in a relatively non-observant Jewish home, with little to no Hebrew, I used to only know the fourth book of the Torah as Numbers. This title calls to mind an orderly census-taking, a linear and rational accounting. And to be sure, there is plenty of counting in the Book of Numbers, but that tidiness is a thin veneer over the turmoil, wandering, crying out,… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

Speaking Torah: What Does Courage Look Like?

Who is rich? The one who rejoices in his portion. (Pirke Avot) In the midst of these profoundly divisive and divided times, I have noticed a troubling trend among people in my own communities, and, if I’m honest, even within myself. We long to respond with courage to a world that is, in so many ways, ravaged with violence—both the slow violence of poverty and systemic injustice, and the more… Read Article →