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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

Mightier Than a Warrior: Commentary on Parashat Tazri’a 5784

Mightier Than a Warrior: Commentary on Parashat Tazri’a 5784

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

 

I’m not normally a praying man, but, if you’re up there, please save me, Superman. – Homer Simpson*

 

No matter how deeply attuned we may feel to our Jewish practice, beliefs, or identity—Parashat Tazri’a notoriously has turned many Jews away from connecting with this […]

By |2024-04-12T17:36:49-05:00April 12, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Holy Moses, as a Figure of Speech: Commentary on Parashat Va’era 5784

Holy Moses, as a Figure of Speech: Commentary on Parashat Va’era 5784

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

 

Last year, I had the pleasure of conversing with a young Deaf Jew who shared with me that they had always understood Moses as a Deaf person. Of course, all of the quotes that the Torah ascribes to Moses could be written Hebrew […]

By |2024-01-12T15:08:36-06:00January 12, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Your Brother’s ID: Commentary on Parashat Vayyiggash 5784

Your Brother’s ID: Commentary on Parashat Vayyiggash 5784

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

 

If you are a celebrity, the names of your first pet, your childhood best friend, and the street on which you grew up might be just a few clicks away. These security questions provide little protection to folks with public lives. As for the rest of us? […]

By |2023-12-22T14:29:39-06:00December 22, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How to Make the Light Come Back: Commentary on Parashat Vayyeshev 5784

By Ezra Kiers, Rabbinical Student at Hebrew Seminary

 

It’s early December and רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ טֵבֵת‎‎ (Rosh Chodesh Tevet, the beginning of the Hebrew month of Tevet), and these are particularly dark times. Yes, they are physically dark; the days are getting shorter, colder, and more severe. But they are also metaphorically dark; in light of the sociopolitical events of recent months both domestically and overseas, […]

By |2023-12-07T10:03:25-06:00December 6, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Can 400 Humans Make One? Commentary on Parashat Vayyishlach 5784

Can 400 Humans Make One? Commentary on Parashat Vayyishlach 5784

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

 

“Every vote counts” is a simple enough slogan. It is a truism that hammers home just how absolutely thin a majority it takes for a simple majority to rule. In 2020, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks won her seat in the United States House of Representatives after […]

By |2023-12-01T14:47:27-06:00December 1, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Thanksgiving, a Privilege: Commentary on Parashat Vayyetze 5784

Thanksgiving, a Privilege: Commentary on Parashat Vayyetze 5784

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

 

When my family splits the middle matzah at our Passover seder, I catch myself each year misteaching that we will take “the bigger half” and hide it as our afikoman. I am almost correct. Tradition compels us to hide the bigger portion of that cracked matzah, but—when […]

By |2023-11-23T07:12:18-06:00November 23, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Were Our Ancestors Genderqueer? Commentary on Parashat Toledot 5784

Were Our Ancestors Genderqueer? Commentary on Parashat Toledot 5784

By Rabbah Rona Matlow, Professor of Jewish Diversity Studies at Hebrew Seminary

 

NOTE: The following message contains adult content. Reader’s discretion is advised.

 

Several years ago, I wrote a series of queer midrashim (מדרשים)—expositions that expand the scope of the Torah’s concerns, usually answering questions that the Torah does not. The Torah is replete with missing words, strange […]

By |2023-11-14T19:59:26-06:00November 14, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Abraham, Isaac, Hagar, and Ishmael—A New Ending: Commentary on Parashat Chayyey Sarah 5784

Abraham, Isaac, Hagar, and Ishmael—A New Ending: Commentary on Parashat Chayyey Sarah 5784

By Rabbi Dr. Allan Kensky, Professor of Rabbinic Literature at Hebrew Seminary

 

Chayyey Sarah is about endings—and beginnings. In this portion, Sarah’s life comes to an end, and Rebecca is welcomed into the family. Abraham dies, and Isaac and Rebecca carry the faith forward. There is loss and grief, followed by a renewal […]

By |2023-11-06T22:05:14-06:00November 6, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Abraham Family, a Quietly Violent Family: Commentary on Parashat Vayyera 5784

The Abraham Family, a Quietly Violent Family: Commentary on Parashat Vayyera 5784

By Rabbah Rona Matlow, Professor of Jewish Diversity Studies at Hebrew Seminary

 

NOTE: The following message contains violence, abuse, and other adult content. Reader’s discretion is advised.

 

It has been reported that, during the lockdown stages of the pandemic, domestic violence increased greatly. With families being confined to their homes, tensions were much higher, and […]

By |2023-11-01T18:35:34-05:00November 1, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Who Called First—God or Abram? Commentary on Parashat Lekh Lekha 5784

Who Called First—God or Abram? Commentary on Parashat Lekh Lekha 5784

By Rabbi Dr. Allan Kensky, Professor of Rabbinic Literature at Hebrew Seminary

 

The portion Lekh Lekha opens with an abrupt call from God to Abram, “Lekh Lekha—go forth.” Seemingly out of nowhere God calls on Abram to leave his home and family and set out for a new land. While we were introduced to Abram […]

By |2023-10-24T23:51:52-05:00October 24, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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