HERE

Teachings

Changing Ourselves To Change The World

This essay first appeared in Chaver Up! 49 Rabbis Explore What It Means To Be an Ally Through a Modern Jewish Lens, edited by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Rabbi Mike Moskowitz.   One of the central motifs in the Pesach seder is our journey from degradation to praise, from narrowness to expansiveness, from slavery to freedom. We are now b’midbar,...[ read more ]

Coming Close To God: A Reflection on Pesachim 98

A version of this piece was originally published as part of My Jewish Learning's daf yomi page of the day Talmud project.   On today’s daf, the Talmud is deep in the weeds of a continuing discussion about when, how and by whom the Passover sacrifice must be brought. What happens if a person purchases a variety of animals designated...[ read more ]

Memory and Moving Forward: A Reflection on Purim 5781

A version of this piece was originally published by SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva.   Today, I remember. I remember vividly the all-consuming sadness I felt last Purim, as the sun was setting and my celebratory seudah was ending, the last event I attended with a large Jewish community. I remember feeling overcome with the intuitive sense that it would...[ read more ]

The Importance of Hallel on Passover A Reflection on Pesachim 95

This piece was originally published as part of My Jewish Learning's Daf Yomi page of the day Talmud project.   Today’s daf opens with a Mishnah. “MISHNA: What is the difference between the Paschal lamb offered on the first Pesaḥ and the Paschal lamb offered on the second Pesaḥ? On the first Pesaḥ, at the time of slaughtering the Paschal...[ read more ]

Torah From A Mussar Perspective Mishpatim 5781

During this pandemic time, I have found myself frequently moving between periods of normal energy and periods of considerable fatigue. I note that the latter is not unexpected, given all that has occurred in our world and in my own life this past year. Yet, I yearn to emerge from this tiredness back to how I was pre-pandemic, knowing, ultimately...[ read more ]

Vayetze 5781 — The Humanity Of Our Ancestors

torah

There’s something so richly rewarding about returning again and again to our foundational stories in sefer Bereshit year after year. As we learn in Perkei Avot, often translated imprecisely as ethics of our fathers, turn it turn it, for everything is in it. I approach Torah year after year with the intuitive sense that something new will emerge—Torah will reveal...[ read more ]

Bereshit 5781

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman sits at a table and studies from a Braille Talmud

After a Tishrei like no other, here we are, beginning our Torah anew, just as we do every year. Bereshit, like all of the parshiyot in Genesis is filled with foundational ideas and narratives. In the opening perek/chapter, we are told that human beings are created b’tzelem Elokim—in the image of The Divine. This seemingly simple idea has been understood...[ read more ]

Wisdom And Reflections For A Very Different New Year: Seeking The Divine Face

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman sits at a table and studies from a Braille Talmud

This piece originally appeared as part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington's Wisdom and Reflection For A Very Different New Year series in 5780/2020. Psalm 27, which we traditionally recite twice daily from the beginning of Elul through Hoshana Raba is one of my favorites. It is emotionally complex and multi-faceted. I wish to be in Your Presence, the...[ read more ]

The Plurality of Mourning Shabbat Nachamu 5780

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman sits at a table and studies from a Braille Talmud

This piece originally appeared on SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva. Nachamu Nachamu ami, “comfort, comfort my people,”— the opening words of the Haftorah from the book of Isaiah, which we will read this Shabbat, ring particularly poignant this year. What does it mean for us to move from a period of mourning, fasting, and solemnity into a prolonged period of communal...[ read more ]

A Reflection For The Three Weeks 5780

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman sits at a table and studies from a Braille Talmud

With every passing year, the enduring wisdom and beauty of the Jewish calendar never ceases to surprise me and give me newfound insight. I’ve been thinking these past few weeks about the upcoming period of The Three Weeks, a period of collective mourning for the Jewish people which begins on the 17th of Tammuz and ends on the 9th of...[ read more ]




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