Teachings: Divrei Torah By Portion

Beshalakh - The Personal Wilderness

by Rabbi Shefa Gold

V’zimratYah is the part of me that knows how to surrender, that opens to the rhythm and
melody of God’s Song and gives itself unconditionally to "what is."
The Blessing

Tazria Metzora - Parsha Politics: Why Tza-ra’at is not Leprosy

When Miriam Hit the Stained Glass Ceiling

A condition called Tza-ra’at appears frequently in the Torah and occurs prominently in this section. We’ve seen the term previously: Magically coming and going upon Moses’ hand to convince Pharaoh; as a symptom manifested by Miriam which leads to Moses’ famous prayer for her healing (ana el na r’fa na la); and in our reading it even is used to described a substance growing or appearing on houses, garments, hair and beards.

No One Remembers Their Names

Commentary created together with Ronya Geller 

"I want to study with you Reb Goldie!"

"What would you like to study?" I asked?

"Girls." She answered.

"In the Torah?"

"Yes, silly, we’re supposed to study Torah together."

"OK, which girls should we study?"

Noach - Feeling "Held"

By Rabbi Shefa Gold

The Blessing

Yitro - The Cohen of Midian

by Tzeitl Locher

Yitro, the Cohen of Midian, father-in-law of Moshe, heard everything that G'd did to Moshe
and to Israel His people- that Hashem had taken out of Egypt. (Chapter 18:1)

Tazria - Redeeming the Unredeemable

This Torah portion is largely concerned with laws of bodily purity. The descriptions of bodily secretions and infections remind us that the kohanim, the priests, were the first dermatologists and infectious disease practitioners. How can you tell what is pure, tahor and what is impure, tamei? Tazria, as it is called, is the least popular Torah reading in the entire year’s cycle.

Shemini: The Danger of Holiness

The Danger of Holiness
by Seth F. Oppenheimer

A reflection on portion [Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47] because, in the matters of Nadab and Abihu and of Uzzah I thought G-D was being a jerk. Yet if a man would fall to his death BASE jumping, I would not blame G-D.

Lech L'cha - Go to Yourself

The 13th century Biblical commentator, Hizkuni, explains that Avram (he was not yet called Abraham) had already left his homeland Ur of the Kasdim and was living in Haran. Therefore he was told to leave his land- Haran, and not to go back to his birthplace, Ur, AND to leave his father’s house, and to go where G-d would guide him.

Quite a journey! Leave where you are, don’t go back to where you were, and separate yourself from your parents’ home. Go- and G-d will show you the way.

Yitro - Sanity Practice

by Rabbi Shefa Gold

The Blessing

Acharei-Mot - My Birthday Parsha

by Barbara Diamond Goldin

I was born at 5:16 PM on the day of Erev Yom Kippur, October 4, 1946.

Vayera - Stranger Anxiety

by Rabbi Shefa Gold


The Blessing

Yitro - Midrash Matters

by Rabbi Joyce Reinitz

Also suitable for Shavuot. This imagery is inspired by the writing of Judith Plaskow in her book,"Standing Again at Sinai." Plaskow is troubled by the absence of women’s voices from our recorded history and tradition and calls for us to fill in the white space between the letters. These exercises are a means toward creating modern midrash that will speak to and for our entire people.

Ancient Eternal Words

Emor - Aunt Sadie & the Challah

This week’s Torah portion, more than any other, brings back precious memories, for it is the week of my Bat
Mitzvah, not at age 13, but at age 36.

I studied for nine months for this event with the ferocity of a tiger, rising each morning at 5:30 to go
downstairs and study. Remarkable, considering that I naturally am a late riser.