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So far Hebrew Seminary has created 25 blog entries.

JustOneWord: A Commentary on Parashat Bereshit 5783

JustOneWord: A Commentary on Parashat Bereshit 5783
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President and Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

After the French theologian Antoine Arnauld expressed his support for the ideas of the Dutch Bishop Cornelius Jansen—who endorsed a handful of thoughts that Pope Innocent X decried as heresy in 1653—Arnauld was quickly removed from the société de la Sorbonne (“the society of the Sorbonne”).[1] […]

Why We Don’t Burn Nice Things: Commentary on Simchat Torah 5783

Why We Don’t Burn Nice Things: Commentary on Simchat Torah 5783
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President & Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

Had I been born one millennium earlier, I never would have associated Simchat Torah with small flags. But for hundreds of years, this joyous holiday has capped the end of Sukkot as millions of young Jews have taken hold of not a heavy torah […]

By |2022-10-14T12:47:38-05:00October 14, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Natural, Unnatural, and Supernatural: Commentary on Sukkot 5783

Natural, Unnatural, and Supernatural: Commentary on Sukkot 5783
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President and Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

         Some 700 years ago, a young rabbi named Ya’akov HaLevi Moelin visited his father the morning after Yom Kippur and was shocked to discover him at a construction site in the Rhineland. Ya’akov’s father, Rabbi Mosheh Moelin, was assembling his sukkah with little […]

Going Nowhere, With Love: Commentary on Parashat Vayyelekh 5783

Going Nowhere, With Love: Commentary on Parashat Vayyelekh 5783
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President and Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

One of my favorite contemporary Hebrew expressions to hear on the phone is “אֲנִי כְּבָר בָּא” (ani k’var ba), which means literally “I am already coming.” I have heard it used by Israelis who are in a car and actually en route to their next meetup, […]

By |2022-10-02T19:45:38-05:00September 30, 2022|Torah, Torah and Talmud, Weekly Torah Portions|0 Comments

The Return of the Horn: Commentary for Rosh HaShanah 5783

The Return of the Horn: Commentary for Rosh HaShanah 5783
By: Rabbi Jonah Rank, Hebrew Seminary President & Rosh Yeshivah

Whether or not we will feel ready, we will soon proclaim the new Jewish year with the blast of a ram’s horn[1]—and we are supposed to feel sheepish.

Se’adiah Ga’on, who led the Jews of Sura (in modern-day Iraq) from 928 until his death in […]

By |2022-09-22T18:58:31-05:00September 22, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Parashat Ki Tavo

Remember Who You Come From: Commentary on Parashat Ki Tavo 5782

By Ben Abrams, Rabbinical Student at Hebrew Seminary

The Israelites are reminded of their wandering, humble past when they are instructed to recite the formula אֲרַמִּי֙ אֹבֵ֣ד אָבִ֔י (Arami oved avi, “My father was a wandering Aramean”),[1] words that today are a critical part of the Haggadah we read on Passover. The […]

By |2022-09-15T15:28:28-05:00September 15, 2022|Torah, Weekly Torah Portions|0 Comments

Parashat Shofetim

Magic and Mystery in the Clouds Down Here: Commentary on Parashat Shofetim 5782
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President and Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

One week ago today, I prepared myself for Shabbat by putting on a nice button-down shirt and shrouding myself in mystery.

To paint the picture a bit more clearly, I should backtrack.

Like all rabbis, I am both an heir to and a messenger […]

By |2022-09-03T21:33:48-05:00September 2, 2022|Uncategorized, Weekly Torah Portions|0 Comments

Parashat Re’eh

How We Look at Things: Commentary on Parashat Re’eh 5782
By Rabbi Dena Bodian, Hebrew Seminary alum, ordained 2010; College Chaplain and Campus Rabbi at Wellesley College

This week’s parashah starts seemingly with a command: רְאֵה (Re’eh, “See”) (Deuteronomy 11:26). Just as earlier in the Book of Deuteronomy, we encountered the first […]

By |2022-08-26T11:50:19-05:00August 26, 2022|Uncategorized, Weekly Torah Portions|0 Comments

Parashat Ekev

Comfort! A Commentary on Parashat Ekev 5782
By Rabbi Dr. Laurence Edwards, Ph.D., Professor of Bible, Jewish Thought, Jewish History

In the weeks that follow Tish’ah Be’Av (which was observed this year on August 7) there is a sense in which we see ourselves as mourners. We have recited the lamentations over the destruction of Jerusalem – traditionally done sitting on the floor or […]

By |2022-08-17T12:00:54-05:00August 17, 2022|Hebrew Seminary Blog|1 Comment

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