Drash Program

Rabbi Safran delivering the drash for Sh'lach L'cha 5772Participating in our drash program provides an exciting and profound way to involve yourself in Jewish learning and teaching with our entire Temple! Read, study, and write about the Torah portion of the week, and explain what it means to you personally. The drash is delivered at Friday Evening Services at Temple Emanu-El. This is a rare opportunity to engage in the most sacred of Jewish acts, the learning and teaching of Torah.

Contact the Temple office at (520) 327-4501 for more information.

NOTE: Not all past drashot have been posted; check back soon!

Drash for Nasso 5775

by Alan Herman - May 29, 2015

This week’s portion of Naso contains 3 major ideas. The first reverberates unto today. It is the relationship between men and women when they are married. Now we have a Torah which takes the text and comments on it from a woman’s perspective and especially from a Reform Jewish perspective. In this first part, the male partner requires the woman to give proof of innocence pertaining to her possible lying with another man.

Read more: Drash for Nasso 5775

Drash for Bamidbar 5775

by Derek Roth Gordon - May 22, 2015

Reading Sam’s Torah portion a year ago, I felt a sense of dread. This had to be the most boring portion...just weeks ago we had all the excitement of leaving Egypt, receiving the rules for kashrut, dying for getting too close to holiness. This week, we counted. It seemed to be the dream portion for accountants and statisticians.

Read more: Drash for Bamidbar 5775

Drash for Bechukotai 5775

by Marci Hilliker - May 15, 2015

This week’s parashah, Bechukotai, deals with the blessings for obeying God’s laws and with the curses for disobeying them. As I was reading through this Torah portion, I started thinking of a special-needs boy I transport to school each day. He sits in my van, repeating the penalties his parents give him for not obeying the rules: “No more TV or video games. Go up to your room right now!” These must seem like terrible penalties to a modern child. For being obedient, though, his reward is usually something related to Ninja Turtles. In his world, “Ninja Turtles rule!”

Read more: Drash for Bechukotai 5775

Drash for Behar 5775

by Rabbi Batsheva Appel - May 8, 2015

“You shall keep My Sabbaths and venerate My sanctuary, I am the Eternal.” [Leviticus 26:2]

After an extensive, detailed description of the observance of the shmitta, the sabbatical year, and the yovel, the jubilee year, and a single verse inveighing against establishing idols to worship in the land, we conclude Parashat Behar with this juxtaposition of Shabbat and God’s sanctuary.

Read more: Drash for Behar 5775

Drash for Emor 5775

by Arthur Geiger - May 1, 2015

Emor, as with the rest of Leviticus, is a list of commandments. The rules are broken into sections – for priests, for holidays, and for penalties for committing “crimes.”

So what are these commandments? Let me summarize:
    • Kohanim (Priests) must be male, of course;
    • Kohanim need to be perfect physical specimens;
    • Kohanim need to marry virgins;
    • Kohanim may not defile themselves by touching a dead body, unless it is a close relative;
    • A newborn calf, kid, or lamb must be left with its mother, minimally, for seven days before being considered for sacrifice;
    • One cannot slaughter a mother and its offspring on the same day;
    • The following holidays are specified:
         - Shabbat and we are all here;
         - Pesach
         - Counting of the Omer;
         - Shavuot;
         - Sukkot, and;
         - Several others.
    • Lighting a menorah every evening in the Sanctuary, and;
    • The baking of a special bread every Shabbat. Has anyone seen the Challah?

Read more: Drash for Emor 5775