Home » D’var Torah

Eco-Kosher’s Biblical Roots

post image

R’EIH, DEUTERONOMY 11:26–16:17 D’VAR TORAH BY: MELANIE ARON For almost twenty-five years, since his article, “Toward an Ethical Kashrut,” was published with Rebecca Alpert in the journal Reconstructionist in the spring of 1987,1 Rabbi Arthur Waskow has been talking about standards of kashrut that extend beyond the traditional ritual requirements. In his book Down-to-Earth Judaism: […]

Continue Reading...

Building the Sacred

post image

VAYAK’HEIL, EXODUS 35:1–38:20D’VAR TORAH BY: ELLIOTT A. KLEINMAN The Torah is filled with great drama. Moviemakers and even animators turn to the text repeatedly for its stunning visual imagery and profound drama. This week’s Torah portion, Vayak’heil, is replete with both. Close your eyes and imagine the following: Six hundred thousand Jews are encamped at […]

Continue Reading...

Welcoming Canada’s First Syrian Refugees

post image

Brought to you by RAC.orgBY: RACHEL LANDMAN “You are home. Welcome home.” This is what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said to the first resettled Syrian refugees as they arrived in Toronto earlier this month. Rabbi Lisa Grushcow said in her Rosh HaShanah sermon, “Our High Holy Day prayers include the words, ‘Who by fire, who by water?’ […]

Continue Reading...

R’eih: Food and Covenant

post image

D’var Torah By: Shira Milgrom   God blessed the first humans, told them to multiply and increase, and then instructed them: “Look, I have given you all the seed-bearing plants on the face of the earth, and every tree that has in it seed-bearing fruit; these are yours to eat” (Genesis 1:29). In the utopian vision […]

Continue Reading...

‘Am’ (Yisrael) Comin’ Out!

post image

By Rabbi Karen Perolman Jews read sections of the Torah each week, and these sections, known as parshiyot, inspire endless examination year after year. Each week we will bring you regular essays examining these portions from a queer perspective, drawn from the book Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible and the Torah Queeries online collection. This week, Rabbi […]

Continue Reading...

The Spirituality of Eye Contact

post image

D’VAR TORAH BY: STEVEN KUSHNER There are few texts from the Torah more ubiquitous, more universally invoked than Birkat Kohanim: the Priestly Benediction. We Jews use it all the time. At weddings. And bat mitzvahs. At preschool graduation ceremonies. At the Shabbat dinner table. Indeed, it has become an integral element of our liturgy incorporated […]

Continue Reading...

B’har / B’chukotai

post image

D’VAR TORAH BY: RICHARD N. LEVY   As we have made our way through the Book of Leviticus, we have often noted how boundaries have been crossed—between the inside and outside of the body in issues of tzaraat (“leprosy”); between the clothing of the priest and the furniture of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle; between proper offerings […]

Continue Reading...

Emor: Words for the Next Generation

post image

D’VAR TORAH BY: RICHARD N. LEVY When the Rabbis divided the Torah into its 54 parashiyot (portions), they generally arranged for each portion to begin with a unique or otherwise significant word that would in some way summarize major themes of the entire section. Such is the case for most of the portions we have studied […]

Continue Reading...

Acharei Mot / K’doshim

post image

D’VAR TORAH BY: RICHARD N. LEVY Acharei Mot, the first of this week’s two parashiyot, begins on an unsettling note—a reminder of the death of Aaron’s sons and the suggestion that such tragedies might occur again unless the priests take specified steps to prevent them. After the straightforward descriptions of the priests, their duties, and their […]

Continue Reading...

D’VAR TORAH FOR TAZRIA / M’TZORA

post image

D’VAR TORAH BY: RICHARD N. LEVY What Happens in the Body Stays in the Body – A Guide for When it Doesn’t The first chapter of this double portion, chapter 12 of Leviticus, is perplexing. It seems to stand by itself. Its topic, the condition of a woman who has given birth, does not seem to […]

Continue Reading...