Tag Archives: Judaism

Community Blog Rabbi Jim Morgan

Shame and Drawing Close to Holiness (Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47)

In a 2016 New York Times Op-Ed, Sally L. Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld observe that modern American culture has been “down on shame [as] a damaging, useless emotion that we should neither feel ourselves nor make others feel.” This trend is unfortunate, they argue, because it ignores the positive role that “appropriate shame”—which they define as “the feeling that one has failed to live up to one’s own standards”—can play… Read Article →

Pluralistic Perspectives Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

“Questions Unite People, Answers Divide Them” (Elie Wiesel)

Dear friends, “The essential questions have no answers. You are my question, and I am yours — and then there is dialogue. The moment we have answers, there is no dialogue. Questions unite people, answers divide them.” I can’t think of a time when we have more needed to hear these wise words from our teacher Elie Wiesel, of blessed memory. We are living in a world where we are… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Michael-Rosenberg

Sacred Clean-up (Parashat Tzav, Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

When my wife and I lived in Jerusalem, we had good friends who would often invite us for Shabbat meals. This particular couple had a very specific division of labor in their marriage, because while one partner loved to cook elegant, multicourse meals, the other partner, Abe (the names have been changed to protect the innocent) had no interest in cooking. So while Cora would be in the kitchen cooking, Abe… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

What Went Wrong, and Other Questions (Parshat Ki Tissa, Exodus 30:11-34:35)

What went wrong? That is the question that hovers over this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tissa. One moment, we are with Moses on top of Mount Sinai, silent witnesses to his intimate encounter with the Divine Presence, watching as he receives the tablets of the covenant, the perfect revelation of God’s word. This is the gift we imagine we long for: The Definitive Truth, placed into human hands. Irrefutable, immutable… Read Article →

Humans of Hebrew College Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Not So Sour Kangaroo

                              Humans of Hebrew College #HumansHC “I just finished playing the Sour Kangaroo in a production of  ‘Seussical the Musical’ at Open Door Theater in Acton, MA — a community theater whose mission is to provide accessible theater experiences. Our cast included 93 kids and adults ages 9-60, many with special needs or disabilities. All the shows had supertitles so the lines and lyrics were… 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 →

Humans of Hebrew College Hebrew College Tablet Logo

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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“The Experiment”

“When I was only five, my family hosted two kindergarten teachers from Germany. I also remember my father practicing German and traveling to Germany several times. He was a participant in a new initiative in Israel called “The Experiment”, Building bridges with Germans and Germany after the Holocaust. But at the time, I did not understand the significance of all of this. When I was eight and again when I was… Read Article →

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Nigeria to Newton

“Why am I here? It has to do with my love for Jewish culture and language. I had my initial theological training at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomosho, Nigeria. I studied at the University of Birmingham in England and graduated with a M.Ed. degree. With all my years of training and teaching within theological education, I knew very little about Jewish culture. When I came to the United States, I… Read Article →