Rabbi Lisa Grushcow

Rabbi Lisa Grushcow, D. Phil., is senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom in Montreal, Canada. Rabbi Grushcow is the author of Writing the Wayward Wife: Rabbinic Interpretations of Sotah, the editor of The Sacred Encounter: Jewish Perspectives on Sexuality, a contributor to The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, and a regular columnist with the Canadian Jewish News. She serves as co-president of the Montreal Board of Rabbis. 

Stories We Tell: My Havdalah Set

Rabbi Lisa Grushcow
Have you ever seen yourself as the “most” important? Have you felt your contributions mattered more than others, only to find out it actually took a group effort to accomplish your goal? This week, we’re treated to an original story by Alice Myers, actress and daughter of Rabbi Lisa Grushcow, who talks about this idea from the perspective of a havdalah set.

The Shaping of a Nation in the Wilderness

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lisa Grushcow

June 18, 2018
Before setting off on a hike in the mountains of Montana, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner was unsettled by all the signs warning about bears. He peppered the National Park Service employee with questions about which trails might be bear-free. The employee pointed out that if it were bear-free, it would not be a wilderness. Over the course of the Book of Numbers, the Israelites encountered many trials in the wilderness. Now, this next generation of Israelites is ready to work together as a people.

Determining Which Traits Are Important for Leadership

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lisa Grushcow

June 13, 2018
As we come towards the end of the Book of Numbers, Moses is constantly reminded that he will not be the one to lead his people into the Promised Land – along with the vast majority of the Israelites who left Egypt. In Parashat Pinchas, we find the second census of the people by the Jordan River before their crossing; those named in the first, at the beginning of the book, have almost all died in the wilderness. Joshua, one of two sole survivors, will be the one who leads them forward.

Learning Wisdom from a Beast of Burden

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lisa Grushcow

June 11, 2018
There is no doubt that the donkey is the star of Parashat Balak. In an episode that itself is unnecessary to the plot of the Book of Numbers, she is dispensable. And yet she leaps out of the text (as much as a donkey can leap) as one of the most unforgettable characters of the book.

Grappling with Death and the Need to Mourn

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lisa Grushcow

June 4, 2018
“The whole community knew that Aaron had breathed his last” (Numbers 20:29). ... Parashat Chukat is in the middle of the Book of Numbers, and its narrative spans 38 of the 40 years in the wilderness. It is also full of death, and the human struggle to comprehend it.