Tag Archives: Torah

Seventy Faces of Torah Cantor Ken Richmond

Lighting Up the Darkness One Good Point at a Time

Parshat Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23) As someone who, by nature of my profession, has the privilege of leading my congregation in prayer on a regular basis, I have long taken inspiration and instruction from a quote from the Hasidic master Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), who said in his teaching “Azamra”: …The one who can create these melodies by finding the good points in every Jew… is fit to be the prayer leader. The… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Jordan Braunig

When the Holy One is a No-Show

Parshat Vayetze (Genesis 28:10-32:3) By Rabbi Jordan Braunig, Rab`14 Perhaps the most memorable words from this week’s parasha, Parashat Vayetze, are the oft-quoted words of Jacob, who having awoken from a holy vision of a ladder connecting the heavens and earth says: אכן יש ה במקום הזה ואנוכי לא ידעת Surely Adonai was in this place, and I…I didn’t know it. The line is in some ways the quintessential expression… Read Article →

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 →

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 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 →

Community Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Grateful for the Fragile Gift of Life

Dear friends, As we begin our celebration of Sukkot this week, I am more aware than ever of the paradox at the heart of this festival. Sukkot is known, on the one hand, as “z’man simchateinu,” or the “time of our joy.” It has its origins in the fullness of the harvest season.  We are invited, summoned—commanded, in fact—to celebrate all that we have received, to rejoice in the abundance… Read Article →

Community Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Hope for Renewal

Dear friends, Tomorrow evening, Jewish communities around the world will gather to celebrate the beginning of a new year. Hope for renewal stirs especially deeply within us during this season.  We imagine ourselves standing before the gates of a new year, before the gates of possibility, repentance, return, and repair.  But of course the real question is whether we will take the risk of unlocking the gates inside of us. … Read Article →