The story of Rebekah can be a great cautionary tale of how not to be a “good Jewish mother.” You know the stereotype: an anxious mother who fawns over her children and then uses guilt to get her children to make the choices she wants them to make.
Like that “good Jewish mother,” Rebekah frets over the well-being of her children. She wants them to grow up to be the people she wants them to be. She mettles with their life’s paths even when they are in their 40’s. She hasn’t learned to let go at all, especially in the case of Jacob.
Rebekah plays favorites. She schemes in...Read More
In February 2017, the community of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto created seven “Rings of Peace” to surround local mosques after a gunman killed six worshippers at a Quebec mosque. After the massacre of eleven worshippers at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Toronto Muslim community reciprocated the “Ring of Peace” for the local Jewish community. Below, the author shares her experience of that day.
One word states this particular Shabbat...Read More
Although this parashah means “Life of Sarah,” we learn instead about her death at age 127 and Abraham’s purchase of a burial place for his beloved wife. Subsequently, Abraham charges his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac to preserve the continuity of family into the next generation, and ultimately we are introduced to Rebekah who, because of her beauty, kindness, and generosity becomes the woman who Isaac loves and marries. Abraham takes another wife Keturah but when he dies at age 175, he is buried next to Sarah with both Isaac and Ishmael in attendance.
Sarah and Abraham’...Read More
It is with an incredible amount of gratitude that I serve as the clergy co-chair for the RAC’s Civic Engagement Campaign, an unprecedented and critical campaign created specifically for the 2018 midterm election season. I have volunteered with numerous political campaigns in the past, but I find particular meaning and purpose in working within this non-partisan framework through the Reform Movement, ensuring that this campaign is a unifying experience based on the values of our prophetic Jewish tradition. The campaign’s three...Read More
The first several paragraphs of Vayeira (Genesis 18:1 – 18.16) recount the story of the visit by God, in the form of 3 strangers, to inform Abraham that his wife, Sarah, at the advanced age of 90, will bear a son. It is apparent from the text that these visitors while appearing mortal, are, indeed, divine messengers of God.
We tend to view this narrative as an instructional text highlighting the importance of Isaac’s birth. At the same time, we see this as a fable: a patently impossible scenario of a post-menopausal conception and delivery. A true miracle – a Bible story....Read More