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Currently Browsing: Shabbat Themes

Shabbat Noah (Gen. 6:9 – 11:32)

The tale of Noah, like all truly great stories, is simple and also deceptively complex. Along with the many layers of the story, there is – I discovered this year – actually TWO versions competing for your attention. In one version, the world had become corrupt, but Noah “seemed good in God’s eyes”. Noah takes seven pairs of animals onto a boat of undetermined size or dimension, and it rains for 40 days... read more

Shabbat Bereshit (Gen. 1:1-6:8)

Looking at it one way, Bereshit is a series of failures. After the high point of creation, it’s all downhill – from the fateful fruit of the tree to Cain’s aggression against Abel, humans really don’t have a particularly good time of it. Even the points in the narrative that aren’t downright bad, most have an element failure to them. making clothes from leaves? Not such a... read more

Shabbat Chayay Sarah (Gen. 23:1-25:18)

The portion with the title Chayay Sarah – “The Life of Sarah” begins, somewhat inexplicably, with Sarah’s death. If you are reading Torah as a novel (which is possible in Bereshit), Sarah’s demise is as sudden and unexpected as it is tragic. Up until now, our heroes have gone from success to success – blazing trails, speaking to God on mountains, fighting the armies of... read more

Shabbat Noah (Gen. 6:9 – 11:32)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com The tale of Noah, like all truly great stories, is simple and also deceptively complex. Along with the many layers of the story, there is – I discovered this year – actually TWO versions competing for your attention. In one version, the world had become corrupt, but Noah “seemed good in God’s eyes”. Noah takes seven pairs of... read more

Shabbat Beresheet (Gen. 1:1-6:8)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and MyJewishLearning.com   “Turn it, and turn it over again, for everything is in it, and contemplate it, and wax gray and old over it, and stir not from it, for thou canst have no better rule than this.” – Rabbi Ben Bag Bag “You do the hokey pokey and you turn the scroll around…” – Rachel Barenblat It’s one of those few portions... read more

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