Torah from around the world #85

by Rabbi Gary M. Bretton-Granatoor, Vice President, Philanthropy WUPJ This has been a particularly interesting time for me, as my wife and I bid farewell to our youngest child who went off to college.  We are now empty-nesters – and frankly, for the most part, enjoying the blissful quietude.  Yet, there are moments when I […]

Torah from around the world #34

by Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh, congregational rabbi in Ireland and Wales, founder rabbi of Congregation Shir HaTzaphon in Copenhagen and Honorary Director of Studies at the Leo Baeck College in London; lecturer at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College, Dublin This Shabbat we commenced again the reading of the Torah with the portion of Bereishit, […]

Torah from Around the World #350

I have read and meditated on the midrashim so many times that I can no longer imagine the Torah without the rich many interpretation of our brilliant Rabbis, continuing to multiply from the Talmudic times to our days. They go so far as to take the meaning of the text to the limits of creativity.

Torah from Around the World #295

In my family, it has been a time of journeys and transitions. Our daughter and son-in-law became parents and then moved back to New York. Our son had been touring with a theatrical group and moved back home when the tour ended. Our other daughter spent the summer working at a Union for Reform Judaism camp, came home briefly, before leaving for a semester in Prague, studying Jewish history. Each of these journeys involved complicated plans, many suitcases and even more boxes. Then of course, there was the emotional baggage, sadness for leaving behind cherished communities and friends, relief for the needed break, excitement and anxiety of the unknown which lay ahead.

Torah from Around the World #188

“Where are you going?” It was a question I was asked by many of my friends. And each time, the answer was the same. “I don’t know. But something is compelling me. I just have to go.” Invariably, when I returned, the first question was the same as the first, “Where did you go?” My answer? “Where I was supposed to.”

Torah from Around the World #138

“Lech lecha”, go forth, comes the call from God to Avram, and with that begins a journey that, to paraphrase Neil Armstrong thousands of years later, was “one small step for a man, one giant leap for humanity”. Even more than humanity’s conquest of space and landing on the moon, the journey of Avraham Avinu, Avraham our ancestor, has influenced the subsequent course of human events.

Torah from around the world #87

Preparing for a journey of any kind can be daunting. So many questions guide our steps: With whom will I be travelling? What is the purpose of the trip? What will I need for my journey? What will the weather be like? Should I bring the laptop or escape from technology? The answer to each question leads to additional questions and actions to be taken. Until we have answered the questions and completed the actions, we cannot begin the journey.

Torah from around the World #36

A few years ago, some experts decided to degrade a planet which mythologically ruled the underworld, and reduced its dignity to a mere asteroid. Why? Because its orbit was erratic, a bit shifted and more elliptical than its other celestial brethren.

Torah from Around the World #349

By: Rabbi Nir Barkin and Smadar Bilik, DOMIM – aLike Israel-Diaspora Project, a joint initiative of the Diaspora Ministry of the Israel Government and the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) The story of the Tower of Babel, which appears toward the end of this Torah portion, marks the end of the series […]

Torah from Around the World #294

By: Rabbi Danny Burkeman, Rabbi at The Community Synagogue in Port Washington, NY. He is a previous member of the WUPJ Board and was formerly one of the Rabbis at West London Synagogue. He has a weekly Torah commentary “Two Minutes of Torah” available on iTunes and you can read more of his writings on his […]