Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D.

Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D. serves Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion as the National Director of Recruitment and Admissions, and Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics. She was also named President's Scholar in 2013. Prior to this appointment, she served as Vice President of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Rabbi Sabath earned a Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary and has co-authored two books and published numerous articles in the Jerusalem Post, the Huffington Post, the Times of Israel, and other venues. She is currently writing a book on covenant theology and co-editing a volume with Rabbi Rachel Adler, Ph.D. on ethics and gender.

The Spiritual Climax of Now

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D.

As we near the end of Deuteronomy, prepare to begin the yearly Torah cycle anew, and celebrate the finale of the fall holidays, we are poised for a remarkable spiritual climax. This week’s Torah portion, Haazinu, includes Moses’ dramatic theological poem – a powerful cry of the heart because he wants to ensure that the community understands the core principles of what it means to be an Israelite.

On Adaptive Jewish Leadership and Embracing Change

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D.

The central leaders throughout the Bible share some important characteristics. While each one is appointed or finds him- or herself in positions of significant leadership in very different ancient contexts, each example models core elements of the complexity, potential, and importance of Jewish selecting and supporting of leaders today. A prime example of the multifaceted nature of selecting a new leader is best exhibited in Parashat Vayeilech by the appointment of Joshua as the leader of the Israelites as they prepare to enter the Land of Israel.

The Depths of Human Agency and God’s Surprising Laughter

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D.

In this week’s Torah portion, Nitzavim, an aspect of the fundamental genius of Jewish existence is illuminated. In renewing the covenant God's intention is revealed: that human beings are intended to interpret and determine the meaning of Torah.

Why the Past Isn’t Enough: The Need for a New Covenant

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D.

Relationships—even sacred relationships—are not static. Even the most profound covenants and commitments sometimes need to be renewed or reestablished. But Parashat Ki Tavo asks, is this true even of our relationship with God?

On Judges, Kings, Priests, and Prophets: Is the Jewish-Leadership Status Quo Sufficient?

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D.

The dramas of political power and legal authority are mesmerizing. From the creation of the first civil society to today, there is no shortage of debate about how an ideal society should function. Parashat Shof'tim outlines a mulit-tiered system for the Israelites' political system that includes judges, kings, priests, and prophets.