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  1. Abraham's Second Life DT Hayey Sarah

    In the Stone Edition Chumash, the brief note on Genesis 25:1-11, which summarizes Abraham’s life after the death of his wife, Sarah, and the marriage of their son, Isaac, to Rebecca, reveals more about human life

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/abrahams-second-life

    Posted on: 2017/11/03 - 12:41pm

  2. Quality or Quantity? DT Hayey Sarah

    “And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years; these were the years of the life of Sarah…” begins our Torah portion this week. Interestingly, Sarah’s age is not revealed with any sense of awe for the number of years she lived. Was there something different about the way our ancestors aged or counted? Or is there something we are missing in our reading of the story?

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/quality-or-quantity

    Posted on: 2017/11/07 - 5:02pm

  3. Questioning Jacob's and Rebecca's Behavior DT Toldot Gluskin

    In the Torah, Rebecca and Jacob use deception to get Jacob the birthright due to his brother Esau. It is natural and healthy to question the behavior of Jacob and Rebecca. Our ancestors don’t have to be perfect to gain our interest. In fact, they may be more interesting because they are flawed. By studying these characters and trying to figure them out, we learn more about ourselves.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/questioning-jacobs-and-rebeccas-behavior

    Posted on: 2017/11/09 - 12:21pm

  4. Isaac, Digger of Wells DT Dannin Toldot

    In Toldot, we come at last to Isaac’s story. And this year, as most years, we read it as we enter late autumn: a transitional time, the secular — or at least non-Jewish — equivalent to the transitional period that begins with Rosh HaShanah — New Year’s Day — and continues on through late summer/early autumn to Simchat Torah. The Jewish New Year observances begin as summer, warmth, and growth give way to decline. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this secular period begins as autumn is about to give way to winter.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/isaac-digger-wells

    Posted on: 2017/11/09 - 12:40pm

  5. Meeting Angels DT Vayetzey

    And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And Jacob said when he saw them: “This is God’s camp.” And he called the place, “Makhanaim.” Genesis 32:2-3 

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/meeting-angels

    Posted on: 2017/11/15 - 8:10pm

  6. Connecting the Dots DT Vayishlakh Dannin

    Flowing through Bereyshit/Genesis are the themes of blindness, deception, and identity. Last week, in Parashat Vayetzey, Jacob’s very identity was shaken and remade at Bet El. Before he fell asleep he was a thief fleeing from the wholly justified wrath of his brother Esau. When Jacob awoke from his dream at Bet El, it was to realize that he had met the divine. Through the rest of Vayetzey, Jacob moved through a series of new identities: lover, husband, father, shepherd, and fugitive from his father-in-law Laban.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/connecting-dots

    Posted on: 2017/11/20 - 2:42pm

  7. Wrestling With... DT Vayishlakh SPN

    (This week’s parashah, Vayishlah, tells the story of the reuniting of Yaakov and Esau, which is preceded by Yaakov’s night-long wrestling encounter on the banks of the Jabbok with a mysterious man/angel. This is my interpretation of this parashah and the “sequel” to an earlier commentary I wrote on an imagined Esau-Cain encounter from parashat Vayetzey.)

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/wrestling

    Posted on: 2017/11/20 - 2:53pm

  8. Tamar the Hidden DT Vayeshev

    Maybe the Torah is really Tamar’s story. Seen from that perspective, Judah’s interlude with Tamar is not an annoying interruption placed between Joseph’s sale into slavery and Joseph’s encounter with Potiphar’s wife. Maybe we need to know Tamar better. After all Psalm 92 tells us, tzaddik k’tamar - the wise/just are like Tamar. They are planted in the house of God, where they fruit and send out seed in order to tell of God’s uprightness.

    So what does it mean to be like Tamar?

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/dvar-torah/tamar-hidden

    Posted on: 2017/12/03 - 7:44pm

  9. Community Teaching 11-21-2017 - Maurice Harris

    In this Community Learning call from November 21, 2017, Rabbi Maurice Harris talks about the strange way the Torah tells us about Moses’ up-close encounters with God, contradicting itself purposely within the space of nine verses. Two consecutive stories in the Book of Exodus confront us with a crucial paradox about how it is or isn’t possible to encounter the Divine, leaving us as readers with something like an “impossible” mental picture that we may be tempted to try to resolve or to hold as a fruitful paradox.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/spoken-audio/moses-encounters-god

    Posted on: 2017/12/11 - 2:31pm

  10. Sandy Sasso: Art and Biblical Text

    In this Community Teaching call from January 2017, Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso teaches on artists and biblical text as seen through literature, visual art and music.

    https://archive.reconstructingjudaism.org/spoken-audio/art-and-biblical-text

    Posted on: 2017/12/11 - 2:57pm

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