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 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

I Knew You Once

By Stacey Zisook Robinson

I remember your kindness
In the desert.
We wandered there
In the dry air
that carried the scent of almonds.

Oh! my Beloved,
You spread salvation before me,
Cast in iron
and tasting of copper,
eroded with the weight of centuries
and rain.
My bridal veil is trampled
before those walls
And the […]

By |2019-07-25T16:41:35-05:00July 25, 2019|Torah|1 Comment

Perhaps I am Free: for Shirat HaYam

by Student Rabbi Stacey Zisook Robinson

I have never seen such forever water.
I hear its incessant burbling,
a chant, perhaps to God,
Who has come to us as Fire,
Who has come to us as Smoke.
Who has come to us
at last,
bringing wonder and magic
and freedom,

I hear chatter of freedom,
but my back is striped still
and there is this forever Sea,
murmuring its prayers to
the […]

By |2019-01-17T18:35:47-06:00January 17, 2019|Torah|0 Comments

Sing Hallelujah

By Student Rabbi Stacey Robinson


Sing praise and

shout hallelujah

as bullets sing their siren song

and death is never far;

and sing praise

while fires rage and

children fall silent

behind barbed wire fences, and

children fall silent

with bellies distended, and

children fall silent

as their homes are devoured,

and they race against monsters and time.

Sing praise, for the monsters are winning.


Free the captive.

Feed the hungry.

Give shelter to those in need.

This is my song,

this praises […]

By |2018-11-21T20:05:51-06:00November 21, 2018|Current Events, Torah|0 Comments

A Kaleidoscope of Angels: for parashat Vayeitzei


By Stacey Robinson

Put the stone under your head
and rest; don’t be disturbed
by the kaleidoscope of angels
on their merry ride of
up and down,
between heaven and earth
and there and back again.

They may be lost,
those angels, or at least
Stuck, intractable in their
proscribed tracks,
their lesson a cautionary tale
in thinking heaven is up.

Let your stone,
cold and hard,
remind you that
there is no place God is not,
even in that rock,
and all […]

By |2018-11-15T19:06:35-06:00November 15, 2018|Torah|0 Comments

Not Evening Not Morning

By Student Rabbi Stacey Robinson

It was not evening,

nor night,

not quite –

although the sickle moon,

dusted in orange,

kissed the passing clouds


It was not morning,

tho the sun

stained the sky


and shivered there,

on the horizon

that was sea and sky together,

and neither sea

nor sky



And so we prayed,

gathered at the water’s edge,

in the not-evening-

Almost morning.

We opened our lips

on the border

of land that moved

with fluid grace,

next to the dark glass

of an obsidian […]

By |2018-08-13T16:50:32-05:00August 13, 2018|Torah|0 Comments

The Teaching of Pinchas Cannot be Condemned, But ….

By Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer

In last week’s Torah portion, members of the community of Israel profane themselves by engaging in licentious behavior with Moabite women and worshiping the Moabite god. Hashem becomes incensed with Israel and tells Moses to impale the leaders committing these actions.  “The Lord’s wrath may turn away from Israel.” (Numbers 25:4)  Pinchas witnesses an Israelite consorting with a Midianite woman […]

The Jewish People Have the Ticket

As part of our 25th Anniversary Torah v Talmud debate, Hebrew Seminary Board member Allen Meyer presented the following well received and most enjoyable story about the relevance and longevity of Jewish values, traditions and peoplehood.

Chapter One

Albert Einstein boards a train. It leaves the station. The conductor comes to collect the tickets. He gets to Einstein who looks high and low for it. […]

By |2018-06-14T20:52:08-05:00June 14, 2018|Torah|0 Comments


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