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Teachings

Bo 5780

This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, contains within it some of the most famous incidents in the Torah. The final plagues of locusts, darkness and the death of the firstborn are mentioned, as well as the introduction of the Passover offering and the observance of Passover as an eternally relevant festival in the life and collective national memory of the...[ read more ]

Reflection on Isaiah 66

This reflection originally appeared as part of the 929 Project, the study of a chapter of the Jewish Bible or Tanakh each day. Our chapter, the final in the Book of Isaiah, presents us with a variety of contrasting and paradoxical motifs. A beautiful, redemptive conjuring of Yerushalayim is juxtaposed with the ways in which those who do evil in...[ read more ]

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman organizing for liberation remarks Join for Justice October 3 2019

4 Tishrei, 5780/October 3, 2019 The following remarks were presented as part of a public event sponsored by Join for Justice at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, Massachusetts on October 3, 2019. The event featured Rabbis Lauren Tuchman and Becky Silverstein.   Organizing for Liberation with Rabbis Lauren Tuchman and Becky Silverstein   Shanah tovah and gmar chatimah tovah! A...[ read more ]

Noach 5780

November 1, 2019   In the opening verse of our parsha this week, we learn that Noach was a righteous man in his generation. Our sages have made much of this descriptor. One of the greatest gifts our Torah gives us in my understanding is that we get a glimpse of the raw and real humanness of our ancestors. In...[ read more ]

DCM remarks December 7 2019

December 7, 2019 The following remarks were presented as part of a lunch and learn at DC Minyan in Washington, D.C.   Shabbat shalom! Before I begin, I’d like to first thank the SC and everyone who has brought me to be with you all today. It is truly an honor and privilege. I wanted to spend a few minutes...[ read more ]

Chayei Sarah Torah 2020

What To Do With Unbearable Suffering Rabbi Lauren Tuchman Torah 2020 Parashat Chayei Sarah 5780 November 14, 2019   Throughout the centuries, our commentators have puzzled over the opening of this week’s parsha. Why, they ask, is our parsha called Chayei Sarah—the life of Sarah—when it opens by recording Sarah’s death at the age of 127? What meaning are we...[ read more ]

Bereshit 5780

October 25, 2019   Traditionally, when a community or individual completes a tractate of Talmud or Mishnah, which are the foundational sources of Jewish oral law, a formula is recited in which the learners promise to return again and again to their learning. To internalize Torah deeply, our tradition teaches, means that we must continuously return to it, not merely...[ read more ]

929 Rabbi Lauren Tuchman Isaiah 46 reflection

December 26, 2019 This reflection originally appeared as part of the 929 Project, the study of a chapter of the Jewish Bible or Tanakh each day.   Isaiah’s prophecies regarding the fall of the Babylonian Gods are presented in stark contrast to the constancy, unfaltering G-d of Israel. Unlike the fickle, faltering G-ds of the Babylonians, the one G-d of...[ read more ]

Baalotecha 5779

Our parsha this week is Behaalotecha, the third parsha in the Book of Numbers. We are introduced this week to the second Passover or Pesach Sheni which falls on the 14th of Iyyar, exactly one month after Passover. Pesach Sheni allowed those who were unable to offer the Passover sacrifice at the appointed time the chance to do so. Much...[ read more ]

Behar 5779

Parashat Behar, our Torah reading for this week, introduces us to the Shmita year. Every seven years, Leviticus/Vayikra instructs us that the land must lie fallow—no agricultural or food production is permitted and there are a number of other restrictions put into place as well. The number seven holds great significance in Jewish tradition—we are commanded to rest on the...[ read more ]




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