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70 Faces of Torah

The Comfort of Our Own Significance (Parashat Va’Etchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)

Seventy Faces of Torah | Posted 12.07.2016 | Religion
Seventy Faces of Torah

By Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman Every week, we invite our ancient prophets to address us through the haftarah (the prophetic reading follows the Torah rea...

“Where We Stopped Along the Way” (Parshat Matot/Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13)

Seventy Faces of Torah | Posted 12.07.2016 | Religion
Seventy Faces of Torah

by Rabbi Minna Bromberg The John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor, NY was a refuge for me and for my mother before me―a refuge from this world...

Change from the Inside (Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 25:1-30:1)

Seventy Faces of Torah | Posted 07.27.2016 | Religion
Seventy Faces of Torah

In a time when many of us long to be able to “do something,” to repair even a small part of an increasingly broken world, we can feel ourselves dr...

On the Impact of What We Say, and How We See (Parashat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9)

Seventy Faces of Torah | Posted 12.07.2016 | Religion
Seventy Faces of Torah

By Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire It was only a few months ago that we saw graphic and horrific images of refugee children dying on European beaches, while D...

When Mourning Is Not Yet Done (Parshat Hukkat, Numbers 19:1-22:1)

Seventy Faces of Torah | Posted 12.07.2016 | Religion
Seventy Faces of Torah

Shabbat can function as a break from the unbearably real. We spend our week not only consumed by our personal struggles, large and small, but also tun...

”The Girl Who Said No”

Seventy Faces of Torah | Posted 07.22.2016 | Religion
Seventy Faces of Torah

I run from confrontation. The very thought of disagreeing with someone makes me breathless. Yet, as a rabbi, I have to accept that people will not a...

The Unattainable Destination Shapes Our Journey

Seventy Faces of Torah | Posted 12.07.2016 | Religion
Seventy Faces of Torah

By Rabbi Becky Silverstein I once owned a refrigerator magnet that read, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey to get there....

All Who "Wander" Are Not Lost

Seventy Faces of Torah | Posted 12.07.2016 | Religion
Seventy Faces of Torah

Like many of us, I found out about the Orlando massacre on Shavuot. It was a terrifying and terrible moment. Once again, our nation was plunged into m...

How Far We Haven’t Come (Parshat Naso, B’midbar 4:21-7:89)

Seventy Faces of Torah | Posted 12.07.2016 | Religion
Seventy Faces of Torah

There should be a name for the particular sense of pride, the utter self-righteousness, that arises when we modern readers encounter the deeply proble...

The Forgetful Sands of the Wilderness (Parshat B'midbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20)

Ariel Mayse | Posted 06.07.2016 | Religion
Ariel Mayse

God's self-revelation and the giving of the Torah at Sinai was followed by the sin of the Golden Calf, and then the command to build the Tabernacle and thus establish a dwelling place for God amidst the physical world.

Back to the Garden (Parshat Behukotai, Leviticus 26:3-27:34)

Alicia Jo Rabins | Posted 06.01.2016 | Religion
Alicia Jo Rabins

It makes sense that the utopian promise is not heaven, but earth. Our ancestors, pre-factory-farm, understood the miraculous elegance of a functional ecosystem.

The Bells That Still Can Ring: On Rest and Action (Parshat Behar, Leviticus 25:1-26:2)

Rabbi Susan P. Fendrick | Posted 05.24.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Susan P. Fendrick

It is a year of complete freedom for the land and humanity alike, a do-over year, a time to begin all over again. In this context of new beginnings, the choice of Yom Kippur as the day on which to proclaim the Jubilee year does make some spiritual sense.

The Human Soul is a Candle of God: Finding Meaning in Existence (Parashat Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23)

Rabbi Daniel Klein | Posted 05.19.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Daniel Klein

My wife's grandmother is 94 years old. She lives alone in the same house she has lived in for decades. She is remarkably healthy, but is at an age when many people would have already moved into a retirement community or an assisted living facility. But she has no interest in moving.

Beyond Ghosts and Familiar Spirits: Finding Holiness in the Old and the New (Parshat Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27)

Rabbi Lisa L. Goldstein | Posted 05.10.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Lisa L. Goldstein

We are on a multi-layered journey. On the Jewish holiday calendar, after leaving Egypt two weeks ago with all the attendant fear and drama of Passover we are moving steadily toward the holiday of Shavuot--on which we celebrate the revelation of the Torah--and thus toward Mt. Sinai.

The Mothers of the Priests (Parshat Acharei Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30)

Rabbi Lev Meirowitz Nelson | Posted 05.04.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Lev Meirowitz Nelson

Parshat Acharei Mot closes with a long list of the sexual partners forbidden to men, continuing the apparent male-centric nature of the text. On its most obvious level, the women in this parashah are there mainly as passive objects, or are simply absent.

Violence and Vision (Passover: 7th day, Exodus 13:17-15:26; 8th day, Deuteronomy 15:10-16:17)

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg | Posted 04.28.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg

The ancient rabbis chose Isaiah's vision of peace on earth as the prophetic reading to accompany the Torah reading for the 8th day of Passover, the Festival of Freedom.

Liberation: A Sacred Moment (Passover; Readings for First Days -- Exodus 12:21-51 and Leviticus 22:26-23:44)

Rabbi Arthur Green | Posted 04.18.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Green

On the second day of Passover, Jews begin a period called sefirat ha-omer, when we publicly count off each day for the next 50, concluding with the holiday of Shavuot. (Hence the Greek term Pentecost, for the 50th day.)

The Mitzvah of Getting Dirty (Parshat Metzora, Leviticus 14:1-15:33)

Rabbi Dr. Micha’el Rosenberg | Posted 04.13.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Dr. Micha’el Rosenberg

I am an unabashed lover of Leviticus. And not just the "Be holy," "Love your neighbor as yourself" second half of Leviticus, but especially the "slaughter the cow...sprinkle its blood" first half. "Be holy" sounds great, but what does it actually mean?

Paid Maternity Leave: Are We 'Ready'? (Parshat Tazria, Leviticus 12:1-15:33)

Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg | Posted 04.07.2016 | Religion
Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg

The Torah's narrative is filled with questions, struggles, and lived reality related to maternity. Most of our biblical foremothers struggled with infertility. Great detail and attention is given to empowering women as mothers while recognizing the pain of those who are unable to give birth.

Strange Fire of the Heart (Parashat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47)

Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman | Posted 03.30.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman

We must draw boundaries around our lives, taking care of our own bodies and needs even as we attend to others. We must dwell in the eye-popping paradox that we are both totally one with God and individual human beings who are blazing with love.

Leadership, Precision, and the Power of Ritual (Parashat Tzav: Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi | Posted 03.24.2017 | Religion
Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi

For decades, many of our prayer books have omitted, rephrased, or reinterpreted the many liturgical references to these ancient sacrifices. And liberal theologies have struggled to find meaning in the priesthood and in the culture of the ancient Temple cult.

Offerings, Then and Now (Parashat Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26)

Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire | Posted 03.17.2017 | Religion
Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire

On one hand, we can be grateful that we have responded to God's call (vayikra means "and God called") very differently in a post-biblical world; on the other hand, we can still recall with wonder and mystery the ancient cult as described in our parasha.

With Water, String, and Laughter: Finding the Divine (Parshat Pekudei, Exodus 38:21 - 40:38)

Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman | Posted 03.10.2017 | Religion
Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman

This month, the Torah has led us on a comprehensive tour of the folk art museum of ancient Israelite desert wandering, a full accounting of the physical culture of our portable sacred space in the wilderness.

A Campaign That Includes Us All (Parshat Vayakhel, Exodus 35:1-38:20)

Deborah Skolnick Einhorn | Posted 03.03.2017 | Religion
Deborah Skolnick Einhorn

The preceding one-dimensional campaigns -- in which both color and gender are circumscribed -- serve to emphasize the expansive ways in which individuals can be moved to give for the sake of community.

By the People and for the People (Parshat Ki Tissa: Exodus 30:11-34:35)

Stephen Hazan Arnoff | Posted 02.24.2017 | Religion
Stephen Hazan Arnoff

This week's Torah portion, Ki Tissa, suggests two poles of leadership, a useful model for election season or any time. The reading begins with a call to order for the entire Israelite enterprise.