Tag Archives: Torah

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Elizabeth Bonney-Cohen

Sarah’s Silent Cry

Parashat Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27) He didn’t mean to… He wouldn’t have, if only… There was nothing he could have done to prevent it…It only happened because she was too… With these words, we subtly dismiss the perpetration of violence and subjugation inflicted on those least protected by our social and political systems. They all too easily roll off the tongue when we hear news of some horrific violation. Did… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

Hebrew College Presidential Installation: Words of Reflection and Hope

Honored guests, beloved family, friends, teachers, students, colleagues, alumni, members of the Shabbat Table and President’s Council and the Hebrew College Board of Trustees. Thank you. To everyone who worked so generously to create this special evening — Guided by our installation chairs, Rabbi Suzanne Offit and Rabbi Sonia Saltzman, With extraordinary vision, grace, and loving attention — Im kol halev, todah. With all my heart, thank you. Andy, and… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Arthur Green

Noah: Words above the Waters

Parashat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32) The story of Noah’s flood remains one of the best-known and most powerful tales of our biblical heritage. Even in our secular age, there is hardly a child who has not heard the story told, seen it recreated in animation, or played with toys based on the animals in Noah’s ark. What is it about this story that seems to have such great enduring power? Is… Read Article →

Community Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Can There Be Joy Amidst Vulnerability?

The Torah makes it very clear that we are to be joyful on Sukkot. We read in Deuteronomy, “V’samachta b’chagecha … You shall rejoice in your festival … v’haita ach sameach … and you shall have nothing but joy.”[1] Given that Sukkot goes by another name, z’man simchateinu, “the time of our rejoicing,” it is no surprise that these verses have become the major theme song of our festival. And… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Adina Allen

We Are Created Creative

(Parashat Beresheit, Genesis 1:1-6:8) Beresheit Bara Elohim, In the beginning, God created. These are the first three words of the Torah, which we begin reading again this week. We roll all the way back to the beginning of beginnings, to the first event in the Torah: creation. Acting out of some desire or impulse, God dives deep into the tohu v’vohu, the depths of primordial chaos, and creates: separating light… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Brian Besser

You Shall Have Nothing But Joy

Sukkot Yom Kippur is the most ethereal of Jewish holidays. On the holiest day of the year, we symbolically shed the trappings of material existence. To my mind, the reason for fasting is not so much to afflict ourselves but to elevate ourselves above the earthly plane of reality. As much as humanly possible, we abstain from physical needs and urges. We don’t eat; we don’t bathe; we don’t engage… Read Article →

Community Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Why I talk to dead guys about my uterus

I spend a lot of my time talking to old dead guys about my uterus. It’s not a popular thing for a young person to do – especially when it comes to controversial, timely social issues like immigration, LGBTQ rights, and reproductive justice. The people most natural for me to consult should be my peers – leaders in these fields, champions of progress, and fighters for justice in the here… Read Article →

Rabbi Avi Strausberg

What Comes After

Parshat Ha’azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-52) When my wife and I were developing the language of our ketubah, a rabbi offered us an important piece of advice: think seriously about the people who you choose as witnesses for your ketubah. If and when, 5, 10, 20 years down the line, things become difficult in your marriage, should you begin acting toward one another in ways that are hurtful, thoughtless, perhaps even cruel,… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Michael Rosenberg

Hypocrisy, Boundaries, and the Mitzvah of Part-time Piety

The Days of Repentance Years ago, while walking back to my college dorm room from Kol Nidrei services, I was shocked to hear my roommate—fresh off all of the confessions and regret that are baked into the Yom Kippur liturgy—use a word not fit to print in the virtual pages of Seventy Faces. With all the self-righteousness of a 20-year old, I called him out on it: “It’s Yom Kippur… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

The Call of the Shofar

Amidst all the noise of the world in which we live, we prepare ourselves to hear the call of the shofar, the call of the ram’s horn, on Rosh Hashanah morning. I want to return for a moment to the ram’s appearance in the Torah reading for the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Vayisa Avraham et eynav vayar v’hinei ayil achar ne’echaz bas’vach b’karnav. “Abraham looked up, and his eye fell… Read Article →