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Teachings

A Modern Midrash On Leah

Author’s disclaimer: Please note that what follows is a modern, exploratory and creative midrash, centering on Leah Immeinu's narrative in Parashat Vayeitze which was originally written in 5777, was subsequently amended in 5779 and at the time of your reading may not necessarily reflect my current thinking and approach. In this midrash, I seek not to offer an absolutest reading...[ read more ]

A Modern Midrash on Rebecca and Isaac

Author's disclaimer: Please note that what follows is a modern, exploratory and creative midrash, centering on the events in Bereshit/Genesis 27, which was originally written in 5777 and does not necessarily reflect my current thinking and approach. In this midrash, I seek not to offer an absolutest reading, but instead to open a door of possibility. The art of the...[ read more ]

On Deception and Its Consequences: Parashat Toldot 5777

I wrote this drasha originally in 5777 (November 2016). When I read the story of Yaakov stealing Esau’s blessing from their father, Yitzchack in this week’s parsha, Parashat Toldot, I am filled with a wide array of often conflicting emotions. I feel a profound personal connection to Yitzchack, understand his pain and vulnerability on a gut level. At the same...[ read more ]

The Sfat Emet on Sukkot

This piece was originally written in 5777/2016. The Sfat Emet has many teachings about Sukkot which intersect well with his description of Yom Kippur as being like a mikvah. We are required to dwell in the Sukkah for the seven days of the holiday of Sukkot (as well as Shemini Atzeret, which many Hasidic masters liken to the very pinnacle...[ read more ]

Or HaMeir on Bereshit

This piece was written in 5777/2016. In his commentary on Bereshit, the Or HaMeir refers to two of the earliest Jewish mystical concepts—the notion that the Torah proceeded everything and the notion of a Ma’aseh Bereshit consciousness. When we think about the creation story, which has been interpreted and reinterpreted throughout the centuries, we tend to think of it as...[ read more ]

The Sfat Emet on Yom Kippur

This drasha was originally written in 5777. One of the most beautiful teachings I have encountered about Yom Kippur is from the Sfat Emet. The Sfat Emet uses the symbology and metaphor of a mikvah to talk about what Yom Kippur is and how it functions. Yom Kippur is this day of total immersion, total unity with God. On Yom...[ read more ]

ELI Talk: We All Were At Sinai: The Transformative Power of Inclusive Torah

Rabbi Tuchman delivered an ELI Talk We All Were At Sinai: The Transformative Power of Inclusive Torah in which she offers a new paradigm for understanding the religious import of including all within our sacred spaces. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOq77ouo5Og[/embed]

Senior Sermon, the Jewish Theological Seminary

Watch Rabbi Tuchman's senior sermon, delivered on October 23, 2017 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

On Creating Holy Communities

Choosing to become a rabbi was a decision I made with an incredible amount of consideration and care. I wish to bring my particular passions, skillsets and knowledge to bear on some of the most important justice issues within the Jewish community and beyond it. Further, I believe strongly that the rabbinate and by extension cantorate must reflect the makeup...[ read more ]

Pokeakh Ivrim: Opening our Minds to New Forms of Inclusion

Typically when we think of access in general and in Jewish community specifically, we first default to thinking about physical access—is the bimah accessible? Do we have sign language interpretation provided for services and other events? Are Braille and large print siddurim available? It has often been my experience as someone who is blind and very Jewishly involved that, when...[ read more ]




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