Rabbi Dan Ross

What It Takes to Fulfill the Promise

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Stephanie M. Alexander

January 13, 2020
There is a section of Parashat Va-eira that might sound familiar to those who have experienced a Passover seder: It's a list of five promises God makes to the Children of Israel: I will free you..., and deliver you...; I will redeem you...; I will take you to be My people; and , I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob... (Ex. 6:6-8).

The Burden of Leadership: Carrying the People with You at All Times

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Reuven Greenvald

February 4, 2019
According to modern academic scholarship of the Bible – the critical approach embraced by progressive Judaism in its centers of higher learning – the Torah is made up of separate literary strands, written in different times and places, and holding different ideologies about ancient Jewish life. In this week’s parashah, T’tzaveh, we see the P-strand, which stands for Priestly code and was likely composed by the priests’ heirs to Temple authority during the Babylonian exile after the defeat of the Judean kingdom in 586 B.C.E. Understood this way, we, as the biblical readers of today, might appreciate P’s representation of priest and Temple as a mythic argument for how the exiles can see through and beyond the upheaval and uprooting of their time.