Welcome to the Hebrew Seminary Blog!

Thank you for joining us!

We are a community of Hebrew Seminary faculty, staff, rabbinical students, lifelong learners, Kabbalists, scholars, spiritual seekers and kind supporters.

The mission of Hebrew Seminary is to train rabbis and Jewish educators to serve all Jewish communities, including the deaf community. Hebrew Seminary has been an inclusive and egalitarian community for the study and practice of Judaism since our founding in 1992.

We hope […]

By |2021-11-09T13:46:26-06:00January 1, 2021|Hebrew Seminary Blog|0 Comments

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

Barriers and Abilities: Commentary on Parashat Va’era 5783

Barriers and Abilities: Commentary on Parashat Va’era 5783
By Rabbi Dena Bodian, Hebrew Seminary alum, ordained 2010; College Chaplain and Campus Rabbi at Wellesley College

When I was growing up, a popular children’s Haggadah featured a skit to be acted out at the seder table. In the skit, Moses is depicted as having a lisp, which was clearly intended to be a comedic moment. While […]

What Is In A Name? Commentary on Parashat Shemot 5783

What Is In A Name? Commentary on Parashat Shemot 5783
By Rahmiel Hayyim Drizin, Professor of Kabbalah

וְאֵ֗לֶּה שְׁמוֹת֙

“And these are the names etc…” (Exodus 1:1.)

 

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.

– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2

 

William Shakespeare uses this line in his play […]

By |2023-01-13T10:38:22-06:00January 13, 2023|Torah, Weekly Torah Portions|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

Silent Dreaming for the Silenced Life: Commentary on Parashat Vayyeshev 5783

Silent Dreaming for the Silenced Life: Commentary on Parashat Vayyeshev 5783
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President and Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

I’ve learned to listen through silence.

 – Sara Bareilles, “Between the Lines” (Little Voice, 2007)

Approximately a quarter of the Book of Genesis relays tales from the generation of Joseph—him, his eleven brothers, and their sister—devoting more words to Joseph and his […]

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

Resting Before Peace: Commentary on Parashat Vayyetze 5783

Resting Before Peace: Commentary on Parashat Vayyetze 5783
By Rabbi Jonah Rank, President & Rosh Yeshivah of Hebrew Seminary

At some early point of the 20th century, the American Jewish community summarized its own cautiousness by telling this classic joke:

           What does a Jewish telegram say?

            “Worry now. Details to follow.”

Anxiety has haunted us, the modern-day children of Israel, at least since […]

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 […]

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