All Articles Tagged Torah

 

Sound and Silence

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Parshat B’midbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20, Shavuot, May 23-25
May 21, 2015

Shavuot, the holiday that celebrates the gift of Torah, begins on Saturday night. The Torah itself describes this occasion as being accompanied by dramatic and terrifying noise and spectacle: thunder, long shofar blasts, earthquake, fire and smoke. As I write these words, I am listening to the jackhammers and sirens on the street below, and […]

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Walking Through Cloud

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Parshat Acharai Mot/Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27
April 30, 2015

The beginning of this week’s double Torah portion opens with a warning to Aaron that, in addition to not approaching the altar in a state of intoxication, he should be on his guard in the presence of God in the actual sanctuary, lest he expose himself to holiness with too much intensity. The verse resonates […]

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A Memory of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, z”l

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Aaron Lichtenstein

President, Hebrew College
April 20, 2015

I have a very poignant memory of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, a great rabbinic leader of modern Orthodoxy, who passed away today in Israel. I had the privilege of studying with Rav Lichtenstein for a brief period in Jerusalem as part of my rabbinical school studies, but my favorite memory of him came from an occurrence […]

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Learning From the Friendly Outsider

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Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23
Rector, Rabbinical School; Irving Brudnick Professor of Philosophy and Religion
February 6, 2015

I always find it strange that this Torah portion is named for Yitro (Jethro), Moses’ father-in-law. In this passage, we are about to approach the mountain to partake as we are able of Judaism’s innermost “insider” event, the revelation at Sinai. This is the eternal moment around which all of Judaism is constructed, the event […]

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Other Stories, Others’ Stories (Parshat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28–50:26)

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January 2, 2015

Last November, I attended the inaugural conference of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. Afterward, I posted on my Facebook page a picture of 100 Jewish and Muslim women — old and young; bareheaded, hijabi and a few in yarmulkes. One of my Jewish friends commented on the posting, “Did you discuss how Islamic women can win basic […]

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Prozdor Highlights: Iraqi Jewry, Composting, and Torah Tangles

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Composting

November 17, 2014

It was another interesting day at Prozdor on November 16th; here’s just a taste of what was happening! Life in Baghdad Students in Norman Finkelstein’s class, Jews of Islamic Lands, heard from Dr. Sammy Shina of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell about his experiences growing up in Baghdad. Dr. Shina spoke about the larger history […]

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Resting Beneath the Tree

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Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24
November 4, 2014

In Parshat Vayera, we meet Abraham resting near the entrance of his tent. He notices three weary travelers approaching, and he runs to greet them, with no regard for the intense heat of the day (as one midrash tells us)–or the fact that he is still healing after having circumcised himself as a part of […]

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Wandering and Welcoming

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Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27
Dean, Rabbinical School
October 29, 2014

This week’s Torah reading begins with the command, “Lech lecha”: Go forth. Go out from your land and from your father’s house. Go. When my husband and I first met, he told me that his family had a kind of motto: “Set yourself in motion and things will happen to you.” My own family did not really have […]

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Others, Brothers

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October 15, 2014

The first big question that is posed in the Bible is when God asks Adam: “Ayeka–Where are you?”(Genesis 3:9). This is not the divine GPS gone awry; physical location is of no interest to God here. This one-word query in Hebrew is the spiritual and existential question par excellence. And since it is asked in […]

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On the Just Use of Force by Our Police

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Police-Officer

Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9
President, Hebrew College
August 29, 2014

The tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has focused the nation’s attention once again on issues of justice related to the use of fatal force by police, especially against unarmed African-American men. The death of four black men at the hands of police in Ferguson, New York City, Los Angeles and Ohio this […]

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