portion of the week

Parshat Bamidbar: The Book of Ruth: True Love A graduate of OTS’s Claudia Cohen Women Educators Institute, Sharona Hassan serves as Rubissa (Rabbanit) at Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation in Seattle, Washington, where she also serves as youth director. In her role as educator and community builder, Rubissa Sharona impacts upon people of all ages through …

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Parshat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1 – 4:20) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –  “And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of Reuven, Elizur the son of Shedeur. Of Shimon, Shelimuiel the son of Zurishaddai. Of Judah, Nachshon the son of Aminadav…” (Numbers 1:5-7) For as long as I can remember, …

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Parshat Behar-Bechukotai (Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin These words were written before the unbearable tragedy in Meron. Rabbi Riskin hopes to address the theological understanding of what happened after the Shloshim.  Our hearts go out to all that mourn; may the Almighty Comforter bring healing to their souls. Efrat, Israel –  “I am …

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Julian Sinclair

Parashat Behar-Bechukotai: Give it a Break Rabbi Yedidya (Julian) Sinclair studied at Yeshivat Hamivtar in 1987, 1989 and 1992-3. His book on Rav Kook’s great work on shmita, “Shabbat Ha’aretz”, will be published by Koren Press in September 2021.      In the first of this week’s parshiyot, Behar, the Torah lays out elements of …

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Parshat Emor (Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –  “And God spoke unto Moses saying: Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel which they sacrifice unto me so that they profane not My holy name, I am God!“ (Lev …

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Sara_Sefaria_headshot

Parshat Emor: Process and Produce: Making Meaning from Grain Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld (Midreshet Lindenbaum 1997-98) is the Chief Learning Officer at Sefaria, an online database and interface for Jewish texts. One of the most profound stories about pedagogy in the Talmud appears in Bava Metzia (85b),  in the form of an argument between Rabbi Chanina …

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Esti Honig

Parshat Kedoshim: Friends, Jews, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears! Esti Honig (Midreshet Lindenbaum Maria and Joel Finkle Overseas Program 2001) teaches Gemara and Tanakh at Kohelet Yeshiva High School just outside Philadelphia, PA, where she is also the director of Israel Guidance for Girls.  . Parashat Kedoshim starts much the way several other paragraphs in …

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Parshat Acharei Mot (Leviticus 16:1 – 20:27) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –  “Speak to the entire congregation of the People of Israel and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2) What does it mean to be holy? In our generation, the emotionally-charged observance of …

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Parashat Tazria-Metzora: Eviction Affliction Rav Jonathan Bailey attended Yeshivat Hamivtar from 1997-2002 and received his rabbinic ordination through Ohr Torah Stone’s Joseph & Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary from Rav Shlomo Riskin and Rav Chaim Brovender, as well as from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. He now teaches full-time at Midreshet HaRova, and recently published his first …

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Parshat Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1 – 15:33) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –  “And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” (Leviticus 12:3) The mitzva of circumcision in the portion of Tazria appears in the midst of the discussion of the impure and pure periods immediately following childbirth. Furthermore, our Sages …

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Parshat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel –  “And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed (the two sons of Aaron) and they died before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:2)  the celebration of the dedication of the Sanctuary .  Aaron’s greatest triumphs turned tragedy.  And one of the deepest …

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Parashat Shemini: Approaching God (and living to tell the tale) Miriam Gedwiser, an alumna of  Midreshet Lindenbaum (2000), teaches Talmud and Tanakh at the Ramaz Upper School and is on the faculty of Drisha.   Parashat Shemini is famous for the dramatic story of Aharon’s sons Nadav and Avihu, their “strange fire” which God had …

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