Recent Weekly Torah

Juneteenth: To Birth the Nation Anew

Rabbi Bradley Artson
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on June 19, 2023
There are holidays and festivals that celebrate an event or a value of timeless and objective worth, and then there are some that mark a transition away from something shameful that should never have existed in the first place. Felt by its participants as a great deliverance, the holiday nevertheless remains awkward because it shouldn’t have been necessary at all. Read more...

The Meanings of Fatherhood in our Time

Headshot of Elliot Dorff
by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on June 18, 2023
In the Torah, we are commanded to honor our father and mother (Ex. 20:12) and respect them (Lev. 19:3), but it is only later, in a second-century source recorded in the Talmud, that we get a sense of how the Jewish tradition construes fathers’ duties to their children: Read more...

The Burden of Memory

by Dr. Robert Wexler
posted on May 28, 2023
My father rarely spoke about his experiences in the army during World War II.  I know about the Purple Heart that collected dust in his dresser drawer and the remains of the bullet the field surgeons extracted from his back. What else do I know about his years in the army?  I know he didn’t like military discipline.  My father was anything but a radical, but the idea of following orders, especially illogical ones, did not suit his anti-authoritarian temperament.  Read more...

Shadowy Figures

Photo of Pinchas Giller
by Rabbi Pinchas Giller
posted on May 24, 2023
Shavuot is a principal example of a festival that was shaped by the victory of Rabbinic Judaism over other forms. It is first described, in the Torah, as the festival of the conclusion of the first fruits, brought to the Temple for the 49 days after Passover.  Read more...

We Are the Violins of Jerusalem

sammy headshot
by Sammy Rosenbaum
posted on May 18, 2023
Three weeks before the outbreak of the Six Day War and the capture of Jerusalem from Jordanian rule, Shuli Natan sang the poem “Jerusalem of Gold” by Naomi Shemer at the Israeli Music Festival on May 15, 1967. The refrain is a reminder of our connection to the Holy City, “Jerusalem of gold, and of copper, and of light, behold, I am a violin for all your songs.”  Read more...