This week’s Torah reading, Parashat Balak, is primarily focused on the Moabite king’s efforts to curse the Israelites. Having witnessed the conquest of the Amorites, King Balak and his countrymen are deeply concerned by the advancing...
Commentary - stasch - July 2, 2014 - 20:03
This Shabbat, Hol Hamo’ed Pesah, we read Shir Hashirim, the Song of Songs, the provocative and enigmatic cycle of lusty love poetry that is embraced (though not without challenge) by the canon of the Hebrew Bible. Dr. Francis Landy of...
Commentary - stasch - April 10, 2014 - 22:10
Elijah is an enigmatic and beloved figure in the Passover seder, with a myriad of explanations for his appearance and role. It’s worth noting that Elijah appears first in our liturgical texts even before we sit down to begin the seder: the...
Commentary - cldemesier - March 27, 2014 - 22:25
Parashat Tazri-a, at the heart of the book of Leviticus, presents a challenge of almost epic proportions in the search for modern, practical relevance. In particular, it opens by defining the different periods of “blood purification” with...
Commentary - cldemesier - March 27, 2014 - 22:28
Many regular shul-goers are familiar with the two blessings that precede the Shema’ in the morning service (whether on a weekday, Shabbat, or Festival). The first (Yotzer) addresses God’s role in the natural cycles of creation and...
Commentary - cldemesier - March 10, 2014 - 17:07
The recent discovery of a new trove of Nazi-looted art in Germany has awakened us to the world of culture and ideas that was lost when Hitler came to power. Dreamland of Humanists: Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky, and the Hamburg School tells the forgotten story of Hamburg's emergence as a center of that early 20th-century intellectual world.
Audio - cldemesier - May 1, 2014 - 21:36
On January 23, 2014, the Jewish Theological Seminary presented a provocative, illuminating, and critically important discussion.
Video - cldemesier - February 4, 2014 - 21:04
The Torah wants us to identify with the ancestors we meet in the book of Genesis; indeed, Abraham and Sarah and their children become our ancestors when we agree not only to read their stories, but to take them forward. Abraham “begat” Isaac...
Commentary - cldemesier - November 15, 2013 - 16:47
After a 20-year absence from home and family back in the Land of Israel, Jacob journeys home. And like any of us en route to the home of our family of origin, anxiety and uncertainty (along with anticipation and joy) play core roles in the experience.
Commentary - cldemesier - May 5, 2014 - 20:07
A discussion from "A Day of Study Celebrating the Impact of Rabbi Professor David Hartman," held in New York City on May 5, 2013, featuring David Hartman's onetime student and friend, Arnold Eisen, Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary, in conversation with Donniel Hartman (President, Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem). The program was recorded by Shalom TV.
Video - juandelman - November 6, 2013 - 20:12