Participating 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!
by Linda Levine - June 29, 2012
Who doesn't love a good mystery? The most puzzling part of Chukat is the explicit and lengthy directions concerning purification before entering the Meeting Tent involving the sacrifice of a "perfectly red unblemished cow." Scholars have spent much time trying to solve the mystery of the red heifer, yet the most important part of the parashah, to my thinking, is the statement that Miriam, the older sister of Moses and Aaron, died and was buried in Kadesh. Miriam's biblical biography is brief, yet the simple statement of her death is of great importance and easily ignored as scholars attend to that troublesome red heifer.
Read more: Drash for Shabbat Chukat 5772
by Rabbi Richard B. Safran - June 15, 2012
In our Torah reading for this week, God tells Moses to send twelve men to scout out the land of Canaan. After 40 days the scouts return declaring that the land is very bountiful, but they also warn that the inhabitants are large and powerful. The people hear the warning and become fearful and hesitant to go forward. Caleb and Joshua, two of the scouts, argue that the people must have faith in God. As a result of the the Israelites' disbelief, they wander the wilderness for forty years and those involved never enter the promised land.
Read more: Drash for Shabbat Sh'lach-L'cha 5772
by Dan Kirchner - May 13, 2011
In the Jubilee year, which follows a Sabbatical year, there is no work, slavery is manumitted, debts are forgiven, and land is returned to its original owner. In addition, food that grows wild in the field is shared with the poor, and if that food runs out, you are supposed to open your storerooms and provide to the needy. Nowadays, we don't follow these practices. Even though there are more slaves now than in the ancient world, they are mostly hidden from view. Illegal immigrants, who work for very low wages are not raised up to the level of citizens; instead we pass laws against them which we can't afford to enforce. So many profitable businesses would have to close.
Read more: Drash for Shabbat Behar 5771
by H. Wayne Anderson - May 6, 2011
I've struggled with the concept of holiness since I was twelve. Really. I'm not sure what "holy" even means. "Sacred" gets me nowhere. Rashi tells us it means "separated to God," which pretty closely corresponds with what I was told those many years ago. Others have suggested that kadosh means "intense," but, Zen as it may be, it's not a very satisfying, illuminating, or relevant definition. Rashi seems to fit the context here fairly well.
Read more: Drash for Shabbat Emor 5771