Seven Minute Torah
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?

Pesach: Fifty Exoduses

Pesach: Fifty Exoduses

April 20, 2022

A single confusing word in the story of the Exodus yields a message about the lifelong process of becoming your best self.

Pesach: Telling the Story

Pesach: Telling the Story

April 12, 2022

What is the power of the Passover story? How has it captured the hearts and minds of so many Jews for so many generations? I argue that this story brings out our sense of longing for a better world, and that it has helped Jews maintained a sense of cohesiveness as a people. I reference Susan Cain's new book Bitter Sweet and her argument about the power of longing.

Metzora: Learning to Say ”I Don’t Know”

Metzora: Learning to Say ”I Don’t Know”

April 5, 2022

Metzora is about a mysterious plague that appears on the walls of a house. In debating whether it describes something real or mythical, the Rabbis teach a lesson about knowing, and knowing what we don't know.

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