Rabbi Naamah Kelman

Rabbi Naamah Kelman is dean of the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. She was the first woman ordained in Israel in 1992, when no Hebrew word existed for the new role for women. Born and raised in New York, she has been living in Israel since 1976, helping to build a pluralistic, progressive, and egalitarian Jewish Israel.

The Mystery of Birth and Rebirth

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Naamah Kelman

This week's portion Tazria falls in sync with the fourth of our five pre-Purim through pre-Passover special Shabbatot, when we include special readings for Torah and haftarah. 1 This week on Shabbat HaChodesh, the haftarah from Ezekiel prepares us for the important new month, the month when we celebrate our Exodus from Egypt.

Numbers, Stories, and a Long Tradition of Ritual

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Naamah Kelman

Parashat Sh'mini — the eighth day; how many of our parashiyot start with a number? This eight comes after seven, of course-seven days devoted to the ordination of Aaron and the priests, who will now take on their full responsibilities in the Tabernacle (the Mishkan ).

An Offering of Thanksgiving

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Naamah Kelman

Both The Torah: A Modern Commentary 1 and The Torah: A Women's Commentary 2 offer the following midrash for this week's portion pertaining to the sacrifice of the sh'lamim given as an offering of thanksgiving: Though all sacrifices may be discontinued in the future (for in the messianic age humankind

Amid Rockets, a Populace Reclaims the Sabbath

Rabbi Naamah Kelman

Where to start, at the beginning or at the end? Almost 40 years ago or the last Friday of August 2014?

Of course it starts even longer ago, somewhere in the sixteenth century when a crazy group of mystics set out to watch the sunset and welcome Shabbat on the