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Seven Minute Torah
8 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
Lech Lecha: All the Souls They Had Made
Lech Lecha tells the story of Abraham and Sarah's journey to the land of Israel. Turns out it's also about community and relationship.
44 minutes | Oct 6, 2021
Noach: The Seven Noachide Laws
A conversation with Dr. Mark Washofsky about the Seven Noachide laws. We touch on issues of universalism in Judaism, Natural Law, and what it means to be a society. In the bonus interview: the relationship between liberal Judaism and traditional Jewish law; what it means to make authentic Judaism choices; and why the Talmud belongs to all of us. For more information about the Solomon B. Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah, visit freehofinstitute.org.
10 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
Bereshit: Take A Break
The beginning of season 3! The Torah's opening parashah focuses, in part on Shabbat - on the very real need to take a break from technology and creation.
9 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
V‘Zot Ha‘Brachah: Turn It Again
The final portion of the Torah ends with a message about the ongoing journey of learning.
9 minutes | Sep 23, 2021
Sukkot: Seeing God‘s Back
The Torah portion for Sukkot describes Moses "seeing God's back." What does the Torah mean by that?? We get an answer from the 12th century philosopher Maimonides - and it's perfect for Sukkot!
9 minutes | Sep 17, 2021
Ha‘azinu: Unconditional Love
The Torah's penultimate parashah is a poem that gives a stylized version of the Israelites' history with God. It has a lot to teach us about covenant, about parent-child relationships, and about unconditional love.
18 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Rosh Hashanah: Ayeka - Where Are You?
Rabbi Streiffer's sermon from Rosh Hashanah morning 5782. About the ways that life calls us to think deeply about our values and our choices and how they align with each other.
42 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
Nitzavim: Don‘t Bless Yourself
This week's parashah is about standing ("nitzavim") together. In our interview with Rabbi Jesse Paikin, he points out a powerful message about responsibility to others and the need to think beyond ourselves.
9 minutes | Aug 24, 2021
Ki Tavo: First Fruits
This week's parashah describes the ancient practice of bringing First Fruits to the Temple. It's a ritual that still resonates today - especially in terms of building gratitude and the responsibility to provide for the less fortunate.
9 minutes | Aug 18, 2021
Ki Tetze: Because You Were Slaves (encore)
The measure of a society is in how it treats its most vulnerable. (Encore presentation.)
26 minutes | Aug 10, 2021
Shoftim: Comfort the Afflicted and Afflict the Comfortable
Shoftim is the Torah's portion about leadership. This week I talk with author and journalist Anya Kamenetz about different modes of information, how to assess leaders, and the centrality of social justice. Plus, in the bonus interview: children in the pandemic, resiliency in hard times, and making Jewish practice meaningful.
8 minutes | Aug 3, 2021
Re'eh: The Power of Generosity (encore)
How a mindset of stewardship and generosity can help cultivate happiness. (Encore presentation.)
42 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
Ekev: Connection to the Land of Israel
A conversation with Rabbi Miri Gold: we talk about the (ancient and modern) Jewish connection to the land of Israel, about ecology and the rhythms of Jewish life. Plus, in the bonus interview - the growth of non-Orthodox Judaism in the Jewish state; Israeli baseball in the Olympics; gratitude rituals and more!
38 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
Va'etchanan: Oneness of God, Oneness of Humanity
This week we are joined by Rabbi Denise Eger, for conversation about the Shema, the concept of God's oneness, and what that means for our relationships with people. Plus: Social justice in Judaism, a groundbreaking new LGBTQ prayerbook, and more!
37 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
D'varim: The Book of Words
This episode is a conversation with Rabbi Ben Shalva. D'varim is the beginning of Deuteronomy: the book of (Moses's) words. How does Moses's final act - an act of creating words - teach us about legacy, about memory, and about owning our own traditions? Plus, we talk about Jewish camp, about the place of mindfulness and yoga in Judaism, about books and more.
9 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
Mattot-Masei: Together On the Journey (encore)
"What matters in life is not where you are, but who you have by your side." In this week's parashah we explore what it means to be on a journey, and what the pandemic has taught us about being on a journey together. (Encore presentation.)
10 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Pinchas: The Torah Stands Against Cultural Genocide
A unpleasant incident in the desert reveals a deeper lesson about cultural integrity, racism, and how we maintain the rights of vulnerable and oppressed peoples. How does this relate to Canada's residential schools (and the United States' treatment of its indigenous and minority peoples)? What lessons are there to be learned here for life in the 21st century?
26 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
Balak: Talking Donkeys, Miracles, and Your Authentic Voice
This week's parashah has it all: comedy, blessings and curses, and a talking donkey! In our conversation with Rabbi Karen Thomashow we discuss the place of parable and legend in the Torah, and what it means to find your authentic voice.
9 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Chukat: The Rituals that Bring Us Meaning
This week's Torah portion describes a ritual that even the Rabbinic commentators can't explain! What does it teach us about the power of ritual and positive habit to bring goodness into our lives?
34 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Korach: Holy is an Action
In this conversation with Rabbi Larry Englander, we talk about Korach's rebellion and about the difference between being holy and striving for holiness. Plus: rabbinic retirement, a new novel about Maimonides, and how secular Israeli music is making its way into Jewish religious life (and vice versa).
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