Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is the Emanu-El Scholar at Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. He is the author of several books on Jewish spirituality published by Jewish Lights Publishing in Woodstock, VT and a new novel, Kabbalah: A Love Story (New York: Morgan Road Books, 2006). 

This Light’s for You

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

"The Holy One spoke to Moses, saying: 'Speak to Aaron and say to him, "When you cause the lights on the menorah to ascend . . . "'" (Numbers 8:1-2).

The "Business" with the Calf

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

"They exchanged their glory for the image of a bull that feeds on grass!" (Psalm 106:20) We Jews may have invented monotheism, but that doesn't mean we're monotheists. Indeed, for most of our history, it seems, we have all been idolaters.

Being Who You Are

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

Parashat Vayeishev is always read on, or near, the beginning of Hanukkah.

Berdichev on Creation

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

In his K'dushat Levi on Genesis 1:1, the third-generation Chasidic master, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev (d. 1810) notices a curious grammatical inconsistency between the opening verse of Genesis, "In the beginning, God created. . .

Balaam’s Talking Ass

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

The parashah for this Shabbat is a fundamentalist’s nightmare. This week we read the lollapalooza grand­dad­dy of all the off-the-wall Bible stories. It’s so preposterous it makes splitting the Red Sea look like child’s play.