Rabbi Dvora E. Weisberg

Dvora Weisberg is the Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Professor of Rabbinics; HUC-JIR Rabbinical School Director and Rabbinical Program Director in Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from Brandeis University and her M.A. and her Ph.D. in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Before coming to HUC-JIR, Dr. Weisberg taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the College of William and Mary, and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Weisberg is the author of Levirate Marriage and the Family in Ancient Judaism, which explores the ancient rabbis’ understanding of family and familial relationships, and Tractate Menahot: A Feminist Commentary (2020). Dr. Weisberg teaches frequently in informal settings, including adult education programs in congregations, several summers at the URJ Kallah and sessions for the CCAR and its regional conventions.

What Political System Does the Torah Favor?

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Dvora E. Weisberg

I have never thought of the Torah as a political manifesto. That is, I do not see the Torah as advancing a political system comparable to the type of systems that we see in contemporary society. Nor do I think of Judaism as a religious system that mandates a particular...

Jewish Ways of Marking Time

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Dvora E. Weisberg

This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Emor , contains a section that is read in the synagogue not only as we make our way through Leviticus, but on each of the three pilgrimage festivals: Pesach , Shavuot , and Sukkot . This section offers details of the observance of Shabbat...

Liberation Is a Journey

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Dvora E. Weisberg

Imagine that you have just been liberated from slavery. After centuries of oppression, you and your people escape, fleeing into the unknown in hopes of a better life. Your oppressors follow you, hoping to return you to slavery, or perhaps even kill you. At the moment when you lose all...

Explaining the Inexplicable with Silence

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Dvora E. Weisberg

On the eighth day after the commencement of the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests, Moses summons his brother and nephews to complete the ritual. Aaron is to present various offerings, after which Moses tells him, “Adonai will appear to you” (Lev. 9:4). At the end of the...

The Curative Power of Ritual

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Dvora E. Weisberg

A journey through Tazria-M’tzora in a time of COVID-19 is revelatory. Things that never resonated before, things that seemed incomprehensible – perhaps even reprehensible – suddenly make sense. Leviticus 13 goes into excruciating detail about the diagnosis of and response to various afflictions of the skin. These infestations, whose cause...