Divrei Torah and Teachings
The previous generations mastered the keys to unlock all the gates of the worlds above. But the time has come to smash the locks!
Midrash and Kabbalah in Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah
A strange rule about Chamets can teach us some profound lessons.
At Yachats we split the middle matsah, inviting the stranger to share a fragment of broken matsah that wouldn't be even enough for one.
Learn about the structure of Yedid Nefesh and what it means! Listen to Emilia Cataldo's Yedid Nefesh in 3/4 time (think fast waltz) that interweaves two voices in harmony.
Why do we have a covenant? A comparative study of Genesis and Shmitah gives us an answer.
"Every religion is shaped by a place and teaches how to live in that place. I’ve always believed that keeping kosher was not just a way of creating Jewish identity, but also a way to create a society attuned to the land..."
When King David disturbs the foundation stone of the world, the waters of the t'hom, the abyss, rise up through the breach King David has made, threatening to destroy the world
Study, for many days or for one seder, some of the great Jewish and Kabbalistic texts on fruit, trees and the earth.
Dominion in the Bible is not the anti-environmental concept that both environmentalists and anthropocentrists would imagine...
From the 16/17th century seder manual, P'ri Eits Hadar, based on the Kabbalah of the four worlds. The original seder calls on us to bring blessing to all creation.
"This one that didn’t sin was slaughtered..."
Teachings about Sukkot exploring the symbolism of the lulav species, the meaning of the Hoshanot prayers, the Tishrei cycle, the rules about s'khakh, and the waving of the lulav, in the light of ecology and the climate crisis.
A unique reading of the words we say when we hear the shofar on Rosh Hashanah.
Are our environmental "sins" are like an 'av, a thick cloud that will storm us, or like an 'anan, a cloud that ultimately will pass on?
One who says, I will sin and I will return, I will sin and I will return
there is not enough in his hand to do t'shuvah...
Moshe Cordovero on the need to extend human ethical principles to animals and other lviing creatures.
Heikhalot Rabbati on seeing the cosmos as the body of God.
Reb Duvid's Tikkun article on the intersection of human rights and ecology. How can human rights become part of ecology? "Human Rights and Ecology" breaks new theological ground, and includes a section on the Bedouin.
"An Earth Covenant Perspective on Human Rights" taught at the first Rabbis for Human Rights Conference in NYC.
The Izhbitzer rebbe on Vashti the queen.
Imagine a Jewish practice which has the purpose of restoring all the species and creatures, and all the sparks they contain, to the fullness of blessing.
The dreidel v. the grogger.
Rebbe Nachman's explanation for why we spin the Dreidel. Those letters on the Dreidel mean something completely different than you thought. Mind-blowing...
Some reflections on the meaning of Chanukah.
Maimonides' Guide is the foundation for any Jewish ecotheology.
from The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature
Redemption means achieving equality between the feminine and masculine divine principles, so teaches the Or Hame'ir.
We have no deeds in us, neither good nor bad: A vort on Avinu Malkeinu.
On Shavuot, when we celebrate receiving the Torah, we also celebrate the offering of the first fruits in the Temple, the bikurim. The offering was a supremely humble gesture. Yet without the small, perhaps wrinkled fruit of the bikurim, there could be no offering...
The Besh"t on the Pesach sacrifice and raising the holy sparks.
There's one important symbol that we don't explain or mention even once in the Passover seder: the charoset. Why?
The Beit Midrash Ruach v'Lev session on "Unlocking the Mysteries of the Haggadah"
Three teachings about how holy eating brings blessing to all life and all creatures, submitted by Jacob Fine.
In this world, what is further below branches off from a higher place...
Study and prayer are done with the lips and breath, not the eyes...
Maidi Katz's Torah: on women's obligation to daven.
This story about Rabbi Mordechai Shapiro of Neshkiz and Ana Bekhoach comes from Magid Yitzhak Buxbaum.
Embrace is hinted at in the sukkah, just as a person embraces her child in love, encircling her with her arms, and sheltering her with her head...