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Teachings

Disability and God Talk

I am a rabbinical student, deeply passionate about creating truly inclusive and accessible Jewish communities in which all Jews can find a spiritual home, and in which we can all bring our full selves to bear on the life of our community. I want to create communities in which the perspectives and lived experiences of all of us, particularly those...[ read more ]

Radio 613: Disability Justice and Spirituality

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Review: Encountering the Stranger: A Jewish Christian Muslim Trialogue

Leonard Grob and John Roth, eds., by Lauren Tuchman In Encountering the Stranger, co-editors Leonard Grob and John Roth present essays by eighteen contributors, three Jewish, three Christian, three Muslim, all of which, in some fashion, explore what it means to encounter the other. The contributors were brought together after attending a workshop at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum...[ read more ]

On Loving the Stranger — Parashat Kedoshim

This week, we are returning once more to Parashat Kedoshim, filled with its many interpersonal mitzvot. In the opening verse of the 19th chapter of Leviticus, God enjoins us to be holy, for God, Godself, is holy. The chapter then lays out ways in which we are to be holy, including proper ritual and interpersonal conduct. Many verses from this...[ read more ]

On Divine Exile and the Sacred Act of Welcoming (Part II)

This post is a continuation of Part I. It is my intention to now explore and explicate concrete ways in which we, as individuals and communities deeply concerned with the well-being of others and of our world at large, can transform the physical world and our sacred communities such that they become sanctuaries for the Divine Presence to dwell within....[ read more ]

On Divine Exile and the Sacred Act of Welcoming (Part I)

This is the first part of a two-part post. In “Man’s Quest for God”, a series of essays on prayer, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel writes: “The Shechinah [Divine Presence] is in exile, the world is corrupt, and the universe itself is not at home. To pray, then, means to bring God back into the world, to establish His kingship, to...[ read more ]

On Bringing Sacred Gifts and Our Sacred Selves

Last week’s Torah portion, Vayakhel, opens with Moses’ gathering the entirety of the Jewish people together. After reiterating the singular importance of Shabbat observance, specifically focusing on the prohibition of lighting a fire, Moses instructs the people regarding the completion of the Mishkan, or tabernacle, commanding them to bring gifts for this purpose. The people obliged, bringing a surplus of...[ read more ]

A Divine Call for Affirmation

This past week, Jews around the world commenced the reading of the Book of Exodus as part of the annual Torah reading cycle. This past week’s Torah portion, Parashat Shemot, contain important moments between God and Moses that are often glossed over in the popular recounting of Moses’ encounter with God, wherein God tells Moses that he will lead the...[ read more ]

On Disability and Brokenness: A Letter to My Fellow Clergy and Clergy in Formation

This may not be an easy discussion, but it is a deeply, deeply necessary one. The subject I wish to broach today is one that is tremendously difficult for me personally, as it is for many people whom you will encounter in your professional and personal lives. The subject is language—specifically, language related to disability and the impact it can...[ read more ]

A Drash on Parashat Noach

This drash (commentary on the weekly Torah portion) was delivered at JTS on October 5, 2013. Shabbat shalom! In reading and rereading this week’s parsha (portion), I was struck by what our parsha can teach us about proper interpersonal relations and having compassion for others. Our Sages famously do not see Noach as a flawless character, Rashi noting that Noach...[ read more ]




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