Our Patriarchy Without Men: Commentary on Parashat Toledot 5783

Our Patriarchy Without Men: Commentary on Parashat Toledot 5783
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President & Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

The Hebrew Bible features the stories of at least six women who could not get pregnant and, only due to divine intervention, finally gave birth—Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Hannah, the woman who eventually gave birth to Samson, and a certain Shunammite woman whose child would not only […]

Seeing Angels in Genesis: Commentary on Parashat Chayyey Sarah 5783

Seeing Angels in Genesis: Commentary on Parashat Chayyey Sarah 5783
By Rabbi Dr. Rivkah Glick, Hebrew Seminary alum, ordained 2019; Educator, Orot

These past few years, I have immersed myself in the weekly Torah portion, trying to “occupy Torah,” live within the Torah, as I look at it with fresh eyes, “to see” (lir’ot, לִרְאוֹת) what presents itself to me, something new, different, or something old […]

God is an Open Door: Commentary on Vayyera 5783

God is an Open Door: Commentary on Vayyera 5783
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President and Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

Judaism sanctifies life’s liminal moments—those times when we stand on the border of two realities. At a baby naming, an already-Jewish child becomes contextualized as more than a Jewish individual: a member of a covenantal community. Though we know that a 13-year old is a minor […]

How To Be a Blessing (On Election Day): Commentary on Parashat Lekh Lekha 5783

How To Be a Blessing (On Election Day): Commentary on Parashat Lekh Lekha 5783
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President & Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

I am lucky that, when I was young, I learned how to recite Hebrew blessings. As I grew, I was grateful when I learned how to acknowledge when I felt blessed—when I was granted good fortune and kindness by God and […]

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] […]

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 […]

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

Parashat Va’etchannan

Small Actions, Great Principles: Commentary on Parashat Va’etchannan
By Rabbi Daniel Vaisrub, Hebrew Seminary Professor of Talmud

Sometimes, you can learn great principles from small actions. A great example of this occurs in this week’s Torah reading, Va’etchannan.

Deuteronomy 4:41-43 tells us:
אָ֣ז יַבְדִּ֤יל מֹשֶׁה֙ שָׁלֹ֣שׁ עָרִ֔ים בְּעֵ֖בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן מִזְרְחָ֖ה שָֽׁמֶשׁ׃ לָנֻ֨ס שָׁ֜מָּה רוֹצֵ֗חַ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִרְצַ֤ח אֶת־רֵעֵ֙הוּ֙ בִּבְלִי־דַ֔עַת […]

By |2022-08-11T12:26:07-05:00August 11, 2022|Hebrew Seminary Blog, Torah|0 Comments

A Planet of Self-Sabotage or Self-Love? A Tish’ah Be’Av Commentary

A Planet of Self-Sabotage or Self-Love? A Tish’ah Be’Av Commentary
By Rabbi Jonah Rank,  Hebrew Seminary President & Rosh Yeshivah

Before he became an unlikely household name in the 1960s, when he removed the high brow of Amilcare Ponchielli’s ballet Dance of the Hours by borrowing the composer’s tune for “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (A Letter From Camp),” Allan Sherman had been a struggling writer. The […]

By |2022-08-11T12:27:06-05:00August 5, 2022|Hebrew Seminary Blog|1 Comment

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