Tag Archives: Torah

Seventy Faces of Torah jordan-braunig

Making Space for the Divine—And Each Other

Parshat Terumah, Exodus 25:1 – 27:19 “We have lived in our apartment for 17 years. My parents lived here. Now, my family lives here. Our landlords have given us 90 days to vacate. No conversation. No negotiation. A letter.” This was the testimony of a 30-something man, accompanied by his wife and mother, at a community meeting hosted by City Life/Vida Urbana in Boston. There were many heads nodding in… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Time to Teach

Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 Last week, my daughter and three of her friends spoke to a group of aspiring rabbis and cantors about issues of mental health and spiritual wellbeing among teens. It was a rare opportunity for a roomful of adults to simply listen and learn from teenagers, who were thoughtful, reflective, and remarkably honest about their inner lives – and willing to share what they want from the adults in… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Lehmann

Many Covenantal Paths: Catholic and Jewish Partnership

Parshat Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23 In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Yitro—named for Moses’ father-in-law—Jethro (Yitro in Hebrew) is described first as a priest of Midian, and only after that as the father of Moses’ wife. The beginning of the parasha introduces us to two religious leaders who model the way different religious communities can appreciate God’s covenantal relationship with the other. Jethro says, “Blessed be the Lord who delivered you… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Minna-Bromberg

Honoring the Blank Spaces

Parshat B’shalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16 Walking home from my set at the Jerusalem Folk Evening, I begin to realize that my abs hurt. This feeling after singing — like I’ve been overly enthusiastic doing crunches on the first day of a new workout regimen — is one I know mostly from the end of Yom Kippur; after that prayer marathon, my achy abs (a reminder that I have poured so much… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Adam Lavitt

Watching, Waiting, Reflecting: Dreaming in Times of Darkness

Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. (Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream”) The world seems like a dark place right now. I don’t know if there is any way to effectively battle institutional racism, or the rampant capitalism that is all but destroying the middle class – or how to respond… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Josh Stanton

Moses was Twice a Refugee

Parshat Va’era, Exodus 6:2 – 9:35 “Middle Eastern tyrant brutalizes his people and causes them to flee for their lives.” This has become a common trope in news stories in recent years, and feels particularly acute right now. According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, there are nearly 4.5 million refugees from the Syrian civil war and interwoven regional conflicts. Some in Europe and the United States are… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Lisa Goldstein

Aligning Ourselves with the God Who Changes

Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 It is a lovely coinciding of our inner and outer worlds that we begin a new book of the Torah just as the new secular year begins:  a fresh page, a fresh day, all kinds of possibilities.  And yet, as we enter Parshat Shemot and the book of Exodus, it takes us all of seven verses before we come to the constriction traditionally associated with the… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Lev

The Shma, Activism, and Maccabiah

Parshat Vayechi, 47:28-50:26 What’s spiritual about going to a protest? I participated in one last month, on a midtown Manhattan street in the early dark of a November evening, wearing my “protest tallit” (the white one I received from Hebrew College at my rabbinic ordination). My companions were farmworkers from Florida’s Coalition of Immokalee Workers  and their multifaith allies, calling on the leadership of the Wendy’s fast-food chain to become the… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah friedman-web-100x100

Family Across the Divide

Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 The refugee stood before the government official and pleaded for mercy. His plight was desperate. He came with a large family, seeking asylum from conditions in his home country. Loved ones were still back home, awaiting word. Returning home without help meant death. There is a new term in the international humanitarian scene: climate refugee. As drought, flooding, crop failures and water shortages become more frequent,… Read Article →