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Tag Archives: Torah

Gabriela Bernstein’s Bat Mitzvah

Hello! My name is Gabriela (Gabi) Bernstein, and I am a seventh grader at the Brandeis School of San Francisco as well as a life-long member of Congregation Beth Sholom. I enjoy reading, writing, art projects, theater stage design and listening to Broadway show tunes. I also perform with a singing group called Trebles at […] http://bethsholomsf.org/gabriela-bernsteins-bat-mitzvah/ Continue Reading...

2018 Torah Fundraiser

There may be nothing so central to our existence as a synagogue as our Sifrei Torah – the sacred scrolls from which we read on weekdays, Shabbat, and festivals. Each of our 11 Torahs has been painstakingly hand-written, letter-by-letter, to exacting standards and must be kept kosher.Needed repairs are ongoing and inevitable. This year, in […] http://bethsholomsf.org/2018-torah-fundraiser/ Continue Reading...

Behar / Bechukotai – Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34

“Sowing the seed, my hand is one with the earth. …Hungry and trusting, my mind is one with the earth. Eating the fruit, my body is one with the earth.“ Wendell Berry’s poem “Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer” asks us to consider how the farmer is like the farm. Similarly, the strong language […] http://bethsholomsf.org/behar-bechukotai-leviticus-251-2734-2/ Continue Reading...

Emor – Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23

This week’s reading builds upon last week’s distinction between the Priestly Torah, which focuses on the priestly views of ritual (as distinct from those of the masses), and the Holiness Code, which interweaves the priestly elements of ritual with popular customs. What further distinguishes Chapters 21 and 22 of Leviticus from the rest of the […] http://bethsholomsf.org/emor-leviticus-211-2423-3/ Continue Reading...

Vayikra — Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26

A strange miniature Aleph opens this week’s parsha, the only one of its kind in the Torah. What does it mean? In our study of the Zohar, we discovered the most remarkable insight: “A miniature aleph — deriving from a diminished place, diminished becoming great as it joins above.” The mystics understand this seemingly obscure […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vayikra-leviticus-11-526-3/ Continue Reading...

Tetzaveh — Exodus 27:20 – 30:10

Fashion designer Kenneth Cole once remarked, “You can change an outfit, you can outfit change, or both.” How fitting that clothes are what truly outfit spiritual change in this week’s reading! To outfit spiritual change, all priests or kohanim wear: (1) a full- length linen tunic [ketonet]; (2) linen breeches [michnasayim]; (3) a linen headdress, […] http://bethsholomsf.org/tetzaveh-exodus-2720-3010-3/ Continue Reading...

Terumah — Exodus 25:1 – 27:19

Master architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) once remarked that “God lies in the details.” His refined glass and steel structures defined mid-20th century architecture, and anyone looking carefully at his Seagram Building or the Barcelona Pavilion will notice the way his materials meet with their surroundings – the way form and function work […] http://bethsholomsf.org/terumah-exodus-251-2719-3/ Continue Reading...

Julian Rapaport’s Bar Mitzvah

Shalom, my name is Julian Rapaport. I am a seventh grader at The Brandeis School of San Francisco. People describe me as an “old soul” and I guess they are right. I love playing Beatles records on my new turntable, listening to Mel Brooks’ 2,000 Year Old Man, and following politics. I also play saxophone in […] http://bethsholomsf.org/julian-rapaports-bar-mitzvah/ Continue Reading...

Mishpatim — Exodus 21:1–24:18

Robert Cover (1943-1986), the renowned law professor and activist at Yale Law School, once remarked that every legal system or nomos had woven within its own narrative or story. Cover taught that everyone lives in at least one nomos, by which he means a normative universe. A normative universe is “a world of right and […] http://bethsholomsf.org/mishpatim-exodus-211-2418-3/ Continue Reading...

Yitro — Exodus 18:1–20:23

Whether we are reading The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, Beowulf, or La Chanson de Roland, we immediately recognize something all great works of literature tend to share in common — all mark out their protagonists as heroes from the outset. So who is the real hero in the Moses story? When we turn to […] http://bethsholomsf.org/yitro-exodus-181-2023-3/ Continue Reading...