Nurturing rabbis as American religious leaders, Rabbis Without Borders makes Jewish wisdom an available resource to the wider public. For more information about Rabbis Without Borders programs, visit the Rabbis Without Borders site by clicking here.
In this book, the companion volume to Kernel to Canon series, Clal Resident and Bible Criticism Scholar Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. tells J’s version of how Moses was chosen, how he rescued Israel from the Egyptians and how he led the Israelites to the Promised Land. It presents the story as the Bible once told it, just E’s original story with J’s additions, without embellishments or commentary. It is J: The Book of Mercy.
"“Wear red lipstick when you meet with him,” warned a grad student. I only vaguely understood what she meant. The man in question was a revered academic scholar. His taking time to meet with a lowly undergraduate was an honor. His advanced years and disheveled fashion clouded my naïve ability to see him as a sexual predator. But after he began calling me sweetheart, asking me to sit up in the front row during class, and putting his hands on my thighs under the table, the meaning of her warning became crystal clear.
"A couple of years ago I received a call from a long-time congregant, Steve (I’ve changed his name and other identifying details). He’s very nice, not very involved in synagogue life at this point, though he might have been when his kids were in religious school, before I was the rabbi here. The particular role he takes on, year after year, is setting up for the break-the-fast after Yom Kippur. He enjoys it, and it’s important to him. A few years ago his wife died, too young. I did her funeral..."
In this book, Clal Resident Bible Criticism Scholar Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. writes that in J's version of the Genesis account the world wasn't created in seven days, it was already there. God was not an aloof deity whose mere words could create worlds, but an insecure and entirely immanent being.
"To me, “father” and “soldier” are almost antithetical words. My 89-year-old parent was an English professor. He taught Shakespeare. His world was (and still is to a certain extent) a man of theatre, books, film and intellectual banter. A hammer and a screwdriver were dangerous tools in his hands. His mind was much stronger than his muscles. But my father was indeed a soldier...."
"How do we define our own connection to Judaism? What unites us and what divides us? In what ways do the modes we use to define ourselves become off putting for someone exploring the Jewish community? These are tough questions and with no easy answer. Yet, there is one thing we could begin doing that would make a big impact..."
“What if the Bible was dominated by strong female voices instead of males? Would we relate to the Bible differently? In the second part of this experiment, I switch the gender of every character in the Biblical text of Exodus and wait for readers' reactions.”
To purchase this book...
"Much has been written about the impact of Rabbi Barry Freundel on the Orthodox world. In a community that sees the mikveh as essential to their practice of Judaism, this is a fundamental tear in the fabric that weaves together ideals of halakhic observance with the messy realities of daily life. But much less commented upon are the ways in which this tragedy has implications beyond the Orthodox world..."
"The leaders of one of the youth-led collectives in Ferguson, Millennial Activists United, have a ritual that they do before each protest, and when I first witnessed it during my five days as a rabbinical student in solidarity with them during the Ferguson Weekend of Resistance, it moved me to tears...."
By Sarah Barasch-Hagans, RWB Student Fellow, from Zeek
"For the past few weeks, my email and social media have been inundated with discussions and links to flyers, articles and events that all support the opposition, protest and even disruption of the New York Metropolitan Opera’s production of John Adams’ “The Death of Klinghoffer.” And I disagree with each one..."