Parashat Chayei Sara

The Torah portion Chayei Sarah, beginning with Genesis chapter twenty-four verse one says; “And Abraham was old, and well advanced in age; and the Eternal had blessed Abraham in all things.” This verse reminds us to question the meaning of having made it in life. Popular culture typically defines ‘making it’ as achieving wealth, a great career, even a well-adjusted family, and being acknowledged by one’s peers. Feeling like “I made a difference’ is another kind of catch phrase that we use to encourage people to do well and asses their effectiveness in life. It is not about where we live so much as what we are doing with our lives that supposedly matters most of all.

Torah from Around the World #246

Recent Issues By Rabbi Gary M. Bretton-Granatoor, Vice President, Philanthropy, World Union for Progressive Judaism In Praise of Three Women It was with jubilation that many of us learned of Sasha Lutt as she became bat mitzvah. Now it is almost ubiquitous to learn that a young Jewish woman is called to the Torah as […]

Torah from around the world #190

By: Rabbi Joan Glazer Farber, Interim Director of Education, Congregation B’nai Yisrael , Armonk, NY Rebekah: A Model for Positive Self-Esteem Eliezer is on a mission. A mission for Abraham and a mission for God. If he succeeds, Abraham will be reassured that the brit which God had made with him will be fulfilled. If […]

Torah from Around the World #140

By: Rabbi Elyse Goldstein , City Shul , Toronto, Ontario Canada Praying for Good Luck This week’s parsha Chayei Sarah focuses on what happens after Sarah dies: she is buried in the Cave of Machpela, and then her lineage continues through her children, fulfilling the values and morals of her life. Through Isaac’s marriage to […]

Torah from Around the World #89

By: Rabbi Guido Cohen, Director of Jewish Studies, Tarbut school , Buenos Aires, Argentina and part of the leadership in the Latin America region. (Rabbi Guido Cohen can also be contacted at , or twitter: @guicohen) Two weeks ago, when we read about the beginnings of Abraham’s journey, the Torah described Abram (the additional H in […]

Torah from Around the World #351

Recent Issues By: Rabbi Dr. Edgar Nof , Rabbi of Kehillat Natan-Ya , Natanya and Rabbi and Program Director for Bridges for Hope – Gesharim LeTikva Why Did God Reveal Himself to Abraham? Several years ago, a synagogue member asked me: Why did Abraham plead so much with God to help the foreign people of […]

Torah from Around the World #38

By: Rabbi Fred Morgan, Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth Israel , Melbourne, Australia “Chayei Sarah and the Case of the Missing Person” Eleven years ago my son celebrated his bar-mitzvah on Shabbat Chayei Sarah. As rabbi of the congregation, I always knew what I was going to say on his bar-mitzvah. Though he was born during […]

Torah from Around the World #296

Recent Issues The Morning After: Iran, Ishmael, and Isaac By Rabbi Mark L. Winer, President of FAITH : the Foundation to Advance Interfaith Trust and Harmony since 1995. MBE PhD DD is a British/American interfaith scholar and leader. In 2014 Queen Elizabeth II appointed him a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) […]

Torah from Around the World #245

Recent Issues By: Rabbi Morley Feinstein, Senior Rabbi of University Synagogue in Los Angeles, and Ari Feinstein, 3rd year Masters in Jewish Education student, HUC , Los Angeles. Abraham the Empathic Listener The beginning of Parashat Vayeira is often recalled as the narrative of Abraham bargaining with God, but let’s analyze that perception. After all, […]

Torah from Around the World #189

By: Rabbi Sue Levy member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association Isaac’s Bar Mitsvah Some time afterward, God put Abraham to the test. God said to him, ‘Abraham,’ and he answered, ‘Here I am.’ And God said, ‘Take your son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer […]