The Weekly Portion

In Miketz, Finding New Female Role Models in the Torah To Talk About

In this weeks parsha, Miketz, Pharaoh has two dreams that need interpreting. You remember that in last week’s parsha, Joseph interpreted dreams for the chief cup bearer and baker. So the chief steward recommends Joseph interpret the dreams of pharaoh also. We only hear about the dreams of men! No women are included. Global studies show that girls are significantly less likely than boys to believe in their own ability to make their dreams come true. And our tradition, passed down by a male dominated society, often silences the voices, hopes and dreams of women. We don’t hear their stories enough in our traditional texts.

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Torah
Torah from around the world #8

The instruction Ray receives is strangely reminiscent of the one in this week’s Torah portion when God tells Moses: וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָֽׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָֽם ( veasu li mikdash veshochanti betocham ) – Make for me a Mikdash (a Tabernacle) and I will dwell amongst you (Exodus 25:8). The instructions are relatively clear, especially as the […]

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Torah
Torah from Around the World #365

Recent Issues By: Rabbi Melanie Aron, Congregation Shir Hadash , Los Gatos, California, USA Responding to the Stranger Who is in Our Midst Lemah hadavar domeh – To what is this similar? That is the question I remember best from when I was a young student learning the Talmud. It’s a helpful way of looking […]

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Torah
Torah from Around the World #310

Recent Issues By: Rabbi Naamah Kelman, the Dean of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem Recently I participated on a panel discussing Intermarriage. This was for an Israeli audience and for many of them; the very issue of Intermarriage is just another indication of the decline of Jewry outside of Israel. It was […]

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Torah
Torah from around the world #203

by Rabbi Neal I Borovitz, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Avodat Shalom , River Edge, NJ “When you encounter your enemy’s ox or ass wandering, you must take it back to him. When you see the ass of your enemy lying under its burden and would refrain from raising it you must nevertheless raise it with him […]

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Torah
Torah from Around the World #153

By Rabbi Josh Jacobs-Velde, Ohev Tzedek-Shaarei Torah , Ohio, USA The Jewish-American poet Marge Piercy has written an achingly beautiful poem called “Nishmat,” which appears in the Reconstructionist Kol Haneshamah siddur as an interpretation of the traditional Nishmat Kol Chai prayer of Shabbat morning. Here is an excerpt: “…Every day we find a new sky […]

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Torah
Torah from around the world #102

by Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Senior Rabbi, Temple Emanu-El of Tucson, Arizona, USA, and host, “The Too Jewish Radio Show with Rabbi Sam Cohon and Friends” The great 60’s comedian, Alan Sherman wrote a book about restrictions on human behavior. He decided to invent a new religion, which would have only one commandment: “Thou shalt […]

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Torah
Torah from around the world #51

by Rabbi Burt Schuman, Beit Warszawa , Warsaw, Poland One of the ongoing challenges we face within our world Jewish community in general, and in the Progressive Jewish community in particular, is that of finding the right balance between lay and rabbinic leadership. On one hand I, and many of my colleagues, must contend what are […]

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Torah
Torah from around the world #7

by Rabbi Mark Goldsmith North Western Reform Synagogue , Alyth Gardens, London This Shabbat my family celebrates the Bat Mitzvah of our eldest daughter Alice. In her D’var Torah on Parashat Mishpatim Alice talks about her journey of learning during the year: from feeling that her portion was, in her words, “a series of rules […]

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Torah
Torah from Around the World #364

Recent Issues By: Rabbi Neal Borovitz, Rabbi Emeritus Temple Avodat Shalom , River Edge, New Jersey, USA The Torah portion for this week is called Yitro and is named after Moses’ father-in-law. The high point of this parasha and the climax of the entire Torah is Exodus 20, which is the conclusion of this week’s […]

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Torah
Torah from Around the World #309

Recent Issues By: Rabbi Danny Burkeman, Rabbi at the Community Synagogue in Port Washington, New York, USA. He is a former Board member of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) Empowering the People When I think back to my time in RSY-Netzer (the Reform Jewish Youth movement in Britain) I find it hard to […]

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