Through her commentaries, she reminds us how the Torah really is a source of lessons each one of us could apply to everything encountere The author wonderfully applies her commentaries on the Torah The Five Books of Moses, Pentateuch, et. Through her commentaries, she reminds us how the Torah really is a source of lessons each one of us could apply to everything encountered in life. Jennifer Hiner rated it really liked it Jun 28, Linda Kroshewsky rated it did not like it Feb 16, Timothy Junior rated it it was amazing Feb 19, Pyang rated it it was amazing Jan 18, Glory Dey rated it it was amazing Mar 20, Celea rated it it was amazing Jun 11, Roy Huff rated it it was amazing Apr 28, Bob rated it it was amazing May 31, Relyn Manginsay Montebon rated it it was amazing Oct 17, Suzanne marked it as to-read Dec 29, Jorge marked it as to-read Jan 15, Brenda Mitchell marked it as to-read Jan 21, Buddylee marked it as to-read Jan 28, Sherri Dishon marked it as to-read Feb 02, Crystel marked it as to-read Feb 04, Bonnie marked it as to-read Feb 08, Judith Shemian added it Feb 21, Arti Bhalodia marked it as to-read Feb 24, Andd Becker marked it as to-read Feb 26, Mariya marked it as to-read Mar 11, Catherine Lindholm marked it as to-read Apr 03, Websterdavid3 marked it as to-read Apr 08, Iroulito91 marked it as to-read Apr 09, Kimberly Sacchetti marked it as to-read Apr 09, Hara Kiri marked it as to-read Apr 16, Pam Trefftzs marked it as to-read Apr 16, Helen marked it as to-read Apr 16, Deanna Spartachino marked it as to-read Apr 24, Wendy marked it as to-read Apr 25, Jessica P marked it as to-read May 04, Bevs Joycie marked it as to-read May 10, Kim marked it as to-read May 12, Pattipazaaz marked it as to-read May 23, Suzanne Eisinger marked it as to-read May 27, Sergey Mikiten marked it as to-read Jun 05, Wentoria marked it as to-read Jun 15, Amanda Skjoldal marked it as to-read Jun 29, Vanessa Simon marked it as to-read Jul 21, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
About Laura Weakley. Laura Weakley. Laura Weakley was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and lived in the area until early in her high school years. The variety of her life experiences all share one common element: they display her lifelong love of learning, and her passion in imparting this love to others. Books by Laura Weakley. No trivia or quizzes yet.
Quotes from What The Torah Te We learned to differentiate between good and evil. Maybe not so thankfully, there is no coffee involved. Before I jump in with the teachings, I want to add two things. The first, a disclaimer: there are numerous, varied texts that inspire and challenge me; today, I am choosing three. God willing, over time, I will teach many others, on holidays or through classes, and you will see other aspects of my understanding of Judaism and my theology.
I would love you to share them with me — over the holidays, over an upcoming Shabbat Kiddush, or really anytime over the course of the year. And if you cannot think of one, I am interested in hearing that too.
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In every generation, a person should see himself or herself as if he or she personally went out of Egypt. The yearly Passover seder is an experiential ritual designed to teach the story of Exodus and the possibility of redemption to the subsequent generation. Instead of simply talking about or praying about freedom, our ancestors designed the seder, which engages all of our senses in the learning.
I feel deep in my core that this story of liberation is my story and it is a story that lives in me. In many ways, it is the foundation stone of my Jewish identity and my commitment to social justice. This was not necessarily obviously true given my upbringing. I grew up in a strongly identified but primarily cultural Jewish household. Judaism was mostly manifested through food and movies: bagels and lox in particular, with some gefilte fish and matzah ball soup thrown in for special times; and Mel Brooks and Woody Allen.
We did celebrate Passover, with a very abbreviated seder and big family meal. From a young age, I loved this holiday and anticipated its arrival with enthusiasm. Even though my parents did not keep kosher for Passover in any way, shape, and form, I would try to box up our cereals and cookies and crackers before the holiday. My parents would swiftly unpack them. Despite the apathy and at times blatant aggression of my immediate and extended family, my love of this ritual and this story could not be diminished.
This foundational Jewish myth provided and provides me with a strong sense of belonging to a people whose history extended generations before me and would continue for generations after me. I feel that my life matters, not only because of who I am but because of this amazing project and people that I am part of.
Most significantly, thinking of my people as redeemed slaves sensitized me to oppression in the world and implanted in me a commitment to fight for freedom and justice.
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Later, when I learned about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, this story became even more real — being a part of a group that had been historically oppressed fueled my desire to work towards a day when no one will know the chains of slavery or the confines of exploitation again. As I grew older, I learned how to make this passion manifest in the fight for equality and dignity for those who lack it.
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This is the narrative that inspired me to join with a diverse group of clergy and work toward racial and economic justice and equal access to education in Philadelphia; this is the story that inspires me to stand up for marriage equality and LGBTQ rights; this is the story that inspired me to travel to Florida to learn from the tomato farmers who are transforming an industry and improving their working conditions. This story has me excited to get involved with issues of importance to my newly adopted city of New York. As Devorah Steinmatz said about the function of the seder, this story has—become my story.
It lives in me as a sense of who I am and it lives in me as a way I see my place in this world and my role in working toward a more free, just society.
The second text I want to share comes from the Talmud. In the tractate or book focused on the laws of marriage, the rabbis teach: if a funeral procession and a wedding procession meet, the people at the funeral make way so the wedding procession can proceed first. The ancient rabbis anticipated theoretical and hypothetical situations so if the situation were to arise, they would know the proper course of action.
Yet, I find this side-comment in the torah to be one of the most profound statements about Judaism. In some cultures or traditions, it would be obvious that either the funeral procession OR the wedding procession would proceed. That is because in Jewish tradition, we honor both grief and joy so deeply and so wholly. Judaism, through prescribed rituals and traditions, helps us carve out space for grief and loss in a compassionate and authentic way. I once worked with a young woman for conversion who when asked why she wanted to become Jewish answered with one simple word: Yizkor.
She had lost her sister in a tragic circumstance just a few years earlier and never felt she was given permission to grieve.
She wanted to grieve. She wanted to be able to cry and scream about how unfair it was that her sister barely twenty years old was no longer and would no longer be. And she wanted a way to be able to do this beyond just the first few days or weeks after her loss. She needed anchors — and she discovered them in Judaism. The tradition of yartzeit, the yearly remembrance, and the four times a year opportunity for yizkor — these were moments when she could honestly, completely and without question feel and experience her grief.
Even as Judaism honors grief and loss, the Talmudic passage about the potential collision of the funeral and wedding, the rabbis choose the wedding processional. The synagogue of my youth was austere; the teachers mostly frowned and made an example of bad behavior.
I went three days a week and apart from Hebrew and some basics about the patriarchs, the primary focus was on the collective losses of the Jewish people. From my formal Jewish education, I would never have described Judaism as fun or joyful or life-affirming. This would change a few years later when I became involved in Jewish youth group as a sophomore in high school. Though twenty-five years have passed, I vividly remember walking in to my first weekend.
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There were groups of teens huddled in one corner, passionately debate a current events topic; others in another corner playing guitars and singing folk songs. Everyone seemed so happy and genuinely excited about being Jewish.
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By the first evening prayer service, I was hooked. In youth group, I learned to pray with my full, loud, and off-key voice and to channel my inner longing into the words of the prayerbook.
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I learned that Judaism encouraged me to ask questions and that my thoughts mattered. I learned to dance traditional Israeli dances until my feet hurt. What I took away from my years in Jewish youth group was that being Jewish was exciting and joyful. And this is as even more true for me today as it was when I was sixteen.
The joy I feel in being Jewish and doing Jewish relates back to the original text about the wedding and the funeral. A wedding represents the potential of new life; the funeral is about a life that was. While we honor the dead, in Judaism, life is sacred.