Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein

The Sukkah and the Jewish Experience

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein

In Leviticus, we are commanded to dwell in a sukkah for one week every year “in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.” What does the sukkah teach us about the Jewish experience?

Sealed for Life or Death?

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein

The beautiful, melodious liturgy of Yom Kippur suggests a heavenly court in which God reviews each individual and decrees the destiny of each person for the coming year. This is powerful poetry that should make us stop and think about our lives and our behavior.

Remember the Days of Old

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein

In Haazinu, Moses recites a poem telling the people of Israel that they must give glory to God and be true to God whose ways are just. He instructs them to consult their elders and “remember the days of old.”

Is There an Unpardonable Sin?

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein

Nitzavim, combined with the following parashah, Vayeilech, is one of the richest and most powerful in the entire Pentateuch. Our Reform practice is to reprise key verses from it in the morning service for Yom Kippur, so parts of it are likely to be extremely familiar.

God’s Punishments: Or Are They?

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein

Parashat Ki Tavo contains one of the most powerful and frightening chapters of the Torah. Fourteen verses (Deuteronomy 28:1–14) outline all the good things that will happen to the people if they obey God and faithfully observe all of the divine commandments.