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|0 Comments

Parashiyyot Mattot-Mas’ei

Words That Build and Break Worlds: Parashiyyot Mattot-Mas’ei
By: Rabbi Jonah Rank, Hebrew Seminary President & Rosh Yeshivah


Streets are filled with broken hearts
Broken words never meant to be spoken
Everything’s broken
-Bob Dylan, “Everything Is Broken”[1]

Our trust breaks down when someone we admire or rely on says one thing and does another. Whether the word that never came to be began with a partner, a […]

By |2022-08-11T12:27:35-05:00July 29, 2022|Hebrew Seminary Blog|0 Comments

Parashat Pinechas

Fixing the Broken Peace: Pinechas and the Outbreak of Violence
By: Rabbi Jonah Rank, Hebrew Seminary President & Rosh Yeshivah

As I write these words, 15 days after the mass shooting at the Highland Park 4th of July Celebration 2022, our news outlets continue to share updates about victims, their families, and the community.  This senseless act of gun violence impacted our own community at Hebrew […]

Parashat Kedoshim

Parashat Kedoshim
By Rabbi Shari Chen

“God spoke to Moses saying speak to the children of Israel and tell them you shall be holy for I the Lord your God, am holy.”

These words begin this week’s Torah parashat Kedoshim – our Holiness code. Many years ago, I was told by my Rabbi, that each rabbi has one biblical verse that defines them. My verse just so […]

By |2022-07-12T15:09:03-05:00April 21, 2022|Hebrew Seminary Blog|0 Comments

Passover Shabbat Message

Passover Shabbat Message
by Rabbi Shari Chen

This year, for the first time in over 25 years, I will not be celebrating Passover at Congregation Bene Shalom with my cherished friend, Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer. Rabbi Douglas loved our Passover celebrations – from the recitation of the 10 plagues, using a bag of 10 stuffed toys to recreate the plagues, to negotiating for the Afikomen, to […]

By |2022-04-14T18:31:10-05:00April 14, 2022|Hebrew Seminary Blog|0 Comments

Parashat Shemini

Parashat Shemini
By Rabbi Tirtzah Israel, Hebrew Seminary alumna & Assistant Professor of Spirituality

This week’s Torah portion Shemini is the third story in a series of continuous narration following parshiot Vayikra and Tzav in the book of Vayikra.

First, the book of Vayikra opens with Moses being called by G-D from the newly built Mishkan (Tent of Meetings).  Moses was told to instruct the Children of Israel […]

By |2022-07-12T15:07:43-05:00March 25, 2022|Hebrew Seminary Blog|0 Comments

Parashat Tzav

What does it mean to be holy? In this week’s Torah portion Tzav, we read about the consecration of Aaron, his sons and the mishkan, the tabernacle, by Moses. Everyone who entered, and everything used within the mishkan, needed to be holy.

But what does that really mean? How can we be holy? According to our Holiness code in parsha Kedoshim, we are told that […]

By |2022-07-12T15:10:41-05:00March 18, 2022|Hebrew Seminary Blog|0 Comments


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