Seven Minute Torah
Korach: Judaism Doesn’t Ban Abortion

Korach: Judaism Doesn’t Ban Abortion

June 28, 2022

By exploring this week's Torah portion we gain some insight into the Jewish view of reproductive healthcare. The Torah also gives a warning about those who would use religion in order to try to control others.

If you would like to join us for our upcoming learning session about abortion in Jewish texts, please email me at rabbistreiffer@gmail.com.

Sh’lach: Choosing Your Own Attitude

Sh’lach: Choosing Your Own Attitude

June 21, 2022

The Torah's story of the scouts points to our ability to choose how we understand and respond to a given situation. In this episode I relate the parashah to Viktor Frankl's teaching of the "last of the human freedoms."

B’haalotcha: Would that ALL God’s people were prophets

B’haalotcha: Would that ALL God’s people were prophets

June 14, 2022

This parashah tells about a strange incident in which two Israelites prophesy "illicitly." Moses's reaction to them teaches something important about leadership and listening.

Naso: Racism is still with us (encore)

Naso: Racism is still with us (encore)

June 8, 2022

Digging a bit under the surface of the parashah, we find a message about the responsibility to  uphold the image of God in each person. And about what an individual, or a society, should do when it realizes that it has not done so.

Bamidbar: Listing the Names

Bamidbar: Listing the Names

May 30, 2022

In the wake of yet another horrific mass shooting in the United States, this week's Torah portion has much to say about respect for life, about "bearing arms," and about the responsibility of a society to guard the safety of each of its citizens.

Bechukotai: Causes and Effects (A conversation with Rabbi Karyn Kedar)

Bechukotai: Causes and Effects (A conversation with Rabbi Karyn Kedar)

May 24, 2022

A conversation with Rabbi Karyn Kedar. We talk about the Torah's theology of Reward and Punishment - our challenges with it and how we might understand it through liberal Jewish eyes. In the bonus interview, we discuss prayer, presence, and mindfulness via a reading of Rabbi Kedar's new book of poetry.

Rabbi Kedar's book Amen can be found here: https://www.ccarpress.org/shopping_product_detail.asp?pid=50485

Bahar: Boldly Go 🖖🏼

Bahar: Boldly Go 🖖🏼

May 17, 2022

This week's parashah is about the Sabbatical year, in which the land lies fallow and all debts and servitude are forgiven. We find a lesson there, and in Star Trek, about living your best life.

Emor: The Corners of Your Face/Field (encore)

Emor: The Corners of Your Face/Field (encore)

May 10, 2022

The Torah's strange prohibition against shaving the corners of your face is an opportunity to talk about holiness and about the relationship between ritual and ethics.

Kedoshim: You shall be holy

Kedoshim: You shall be holy

May 3, 2022

This week's parashah is about holiness - how we're supposed to strive for it, even through we'll never actually get there.

Achrei Mot: Yom Kippur in April??

Achrei Mot: Yom Kippur in April??

April 26, 2022

Sacrifice? Demons? A scapegoat?? This parashah describes the levitical practices of Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement. What meaning is there to be found for modern Jewish life in this ancient, priestly ritual?

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