Tag Archives: Prayer

Seventy Faces of Torah Cantor Ken Richmond

Make Our Leaders Great Again

(Parshat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89) I find my eyes drawn these days to the 11th blessing of the daily amidah prayer, the petition for righteousness, which begins by saying: “Restore judges to us as in the early days and wise counselors as of old”—in other words, “Make our leaders great again.” Our newspapers are full of leaders in business, religion, and politics gaining notoriety through deceit, corruption, and scandal, with our… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

“We are all broken vessels, infinitely precious in the eyes of God”

A midrash from Vayikra Rabbah on this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Emor, teaches: Rabbi Aba bar Yudan taught: All that God prohibited in an animal sacrifice, God accepts in a human being. What is prohibited in an offering?  When a person offers, from the herd or the flock, a sacrifice of well-being to the Lord…it must, to be acceptable, be without blemish; there must be no defect in it. Anything… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens Gary+Becca-Volpaia1

Joining the Jewish Community in Boston

We stumbled upon Parenting Through a Jewish Lens completely by accident. I was discussing ideas for charitable giving with someone at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and at the end of the conversation the person suggested this program would be a good fit for us. He was definitely right. I grew up in the atheist Soviet Union, where religious and cultural Jewish practices were strongly discouraged. By the time I arrived… Read Article →

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Reb Zalman: In Memoriam

Among the countless things I learned from my dear teacher and friend Reb Zalman z”l, is the statement of our shared master and teacher R. Nahman of Bratslav, צריך לעשות מהתורה תפילה, that “you need to turn teachings into prayer.” Zalman especially loved that idea. He would ask about a teaching or wise saying, sometimes about a way you formulated your belief about something: “But can you daven it?” I… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Pope Francis

We Do Not Live by Reason Alone

The law of the red heifer in this week’s reading from the Book of Numbers, to put it plainly, makes no sense. The Torah mandates an elaborate ritual of purification by which a red cow is slaughtered and burned and its ashes used to purify those rendered ritually impure by contact with a corpse. Such purification rituals are generally hard for moderns to grasp. But even the ancient Rabbis were… Read Article →

Pluralistic Perspectives jerusalem1

Day 3: People and Impressions of Jerusalem

Today was a day to explore Jerusalem and its people. We began this beautiful day at Yemin Moshe at the Montefiore Windmill, which has recently been renovated using its original plans. Walking past the Tower of David, we paused for a moment to consider the poem “Tourists” by Yehudah Amichai. This was a profound reminder to look beyond the stone structures and seek the connections we make with one another…. Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Praying For Rain

I like rainy days. Rain settles my mind. It’s great for the small patch of grass behind our house and the tomato plants on the porch. And I like the air and the mist that hovers over the ground after the rain has stopped. But rain is not always so timely. For example: when you spend two days building a sukkah, going back and forth to the hardware store to… Read Article →