Worst Locusts Ever: Commentary on Parashat Bo 5783

Worst Locusts Ever: Commentary on Parashat Bo 5783

By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President and Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

 

Locusts plagued the lands of our ancestors. But a few books in our TaNaKh (תַּנַ״ךְ)—the Hebrew Bible—debate what the greatest horror was that locusts ever inflicted.

Jews in the diaspora, many of whom read the Passover haggadah (הַגָּדָה) on the first nights of Passover, become most acquainted with […]

By |2023-01-27T15:42:34-06:00January 27, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Memory: How Do We Want To Be Remembered? Commentary on Parashat Vaichi 5783

Memory: How Do We Want To Be Remembered? Commentary on Parashat Vaichi 5783

By Rabbi Dena Bodian, Hebrew Seminary alum, ordained 2010; College Chaplain and Campus Rabbi at Wellesley College

 

2023 seems to have started as The Year I Officially Became Part Of The Sandwich Generation. Neither my parents nor my in-laws seem to be getting any younger, nor do they seem to have any plans […]

By |2023-01-06T07:55:43-06:00January 6, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Joseph, Fully Remembered: Commentary on Parashat Vayyiggash 5783

Joseph, Fully Remembered: Commentary on Parashat Vayyiggash 5783
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President and Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

“Can you take your mask off?”

Not only is this a question many, if not all, of us have been asked at some point or another—it is also a question I have been asking myself through the recent round of quarantine in my own home. As of this […]

By |2022-12-30T09:45:12-06:00December 30, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Eight Days of Internal Light: Commentary on Parashat MiKetz and Chanukkah 5783

Eight Days of Internal Light: Commentary on Parashat MiKetz and Chanukkah 5783
By Rabbi Dr. Rivkah Glick, Hebrew Seminary alum, ordained 2019; Educator, Orot

I have a coat of many colors I wear this time of year. Why? It reminds me of the Joseph story. This week’s parashah, MiKetz, is part of the famous long story about Joseph and his brothers—a tale that has inspired plays, […]

By |2022-12-23T11:09:38-06:00December 23, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Changed by Oppression: Commentary on Parashat Vayyishlach 5783

Changed by Oppression: Commentary on Parashat Vayyishlach 5783
By: Rabbi Jonah Rank, President and Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

Make me a grave where’er you will,

In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill;

Make it among earth’s humblest graves,

But not in a land where men are slaves.

 

So begins the poem, “Bury Me in a Free Land,” written by Frances […]

By |2022-12-09T10:24:44-06:00December 9, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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 […]

Virtual Town Hall Recap (with video commentary on Parashat No’ach 5783)

Virtual Town Hall Recap (with video commentary on Parashat No’ach 5783)

by Rabbi Jonah Rank, President & Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

Thank you to the whole Hebrew Seminary community for a successful Virtual Town Hall this past Wednesday evening, October 26. Listening to your questions, suggestions, concerns, and comments was very inspiring and grounding to me as we enter a new stage in the life […]
By |2022-10-28T08:32:56-05:00October 28, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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

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 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

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