Tag Archives: Shabbat

Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Lehmann

To be a Stranger and Resident

Parashat Chayei Sarah (23:1-25:18) Toward the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, Abraham describes himself to those with whom he lives with the phrase, “ger v’toshav anochi imachem, I am a stranger and a resident among you” (Gen. 23:4). Various Jewish commentators have interpreted this self-description as much more than just a statement about Abraham’s relationship to his immediate neighbors in the context of purchasing a burial plot… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Shira Shazeer

Crisis Parenting: Walking Together Through Bitter and Sweet

Parshat Vayera (Genesis 18:1-22:24) Last week, my four-year-old announced gleefully, “It’s almost Kislev!” He is joyfully anticipating the next Jewish month because of my personal custom to declare the holiday-free month of Mar-Cheshvan a family-wide post-holiday sugar detox. My son’s excitement makes perfect sense – except that it is only the second day of Cheshvan. I answer somewhat incredulously, “It’s almost Kislev?” “Yes,” he says, “Only twenty-eight days!” Somehow, what… Read Article →

Pluralistic Perspectives Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Parshat Lech Lecha-Congregation Mishkan Tefillah

This week we will read parshat Lech lecha. But before we talk about it, let’s take a deep breath and recognize that, at this point in Torah, we haven’t heard from God, in more than three chapters. God has been silent for what we understand to have been 40 generations, that is, since the time of Noah. Now, here comes parshat lech lecha and suddenly, without warning and not even… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

“We must choose life in the world we’ve got, and plant our gardens on this side of the rainbow”

An ancient rabbinic midrash tells us that God created and destroyed many worlds before bringing this one into being. The tale speaks, I believe, to an impulse that is all too familiar. The impulse—when confronted with profound disappointment—to destroy in order to begin again. This is the impulse that overtakes God, as it were, at the very end of last week’s Torah portion. “The Lord saw how great was man’s… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Avi Strausberg

Where Is God in the Flood?

Parshat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32) In the beginning, there was nothing. When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth being unformed and void. Except, that’s not exactly true. Because there was something. There was darkness, and there was wind, and there was water. A lot of water. God separated water from water, creating an expanse in between and God gathered all the lower waters together, and dry… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah rachel-adelman

What is Written in the Book of Human Begettings?

Parashat Bereishit (Genesis, 1:1-6:8) As the saying goes: “All beginnings are difficult.” We are reading Bereshit, “In the beginning…,” again. It is the start of a New Year and I am filled with the tentative joy and trepidation of Yom Kippur in Jerusalem. Just at the opening of the gates at Kol Nidrei, I stood with my three-month-old granddaughter, Naomi Tzipora, in my arms—my daughter and son-in-law by my side—filled… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Dan Judson, Director of Professional Development and Placement

A Pink Sukkah: A Suggestion for New Jewish Ritual

Parshat Sukkot (Leviticus 22:26-23:44) There is a story told of Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev that he was feeling chalisha [weak] before the holiday of Sukkot began. He had worn himself out with the fervency of his Yom Kippur prayers. His students gathered around him and waved an Etrog under his nose and the strong and unique smell of the fruit revived his spirits and he entered the season with the… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Michael-Rosenberg

The Weight of Our Wrongs

Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16:1-34; 18:1-30) Yom Kippur is the single most significant day of the Jewish calendar. And so it’s certainly not coincidental that the Torah reading for Yom Kippur, stands in the center of the Torah. Almost precisely at the middle of the middle book of the Torah, we find a description of the rites that would take place in the Tabernacle on the Day of Atonement.  On this most central of days, we… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah rabbi-solomon.100px

Angels in the Wilderness

Ha’azinu/Shabbat Shuva, Deuteronomy 32:1-52 Early in Genesis we find Hagar, with  dust in her hair and on her feet. Hagar is Abraham’s handmaid, pregnant with his first and oldest son, running from her master’s home. She runs furiously into the wilderness and stops by an עֵין הַמַּיִם, a spring or more literally, an eye of water. In Genesis 16:7-8 we read: And an angel of the Lord found her [Hagar]… Read Article →