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 Mo Goldman - April 24, 2015
The parashah Kedoshim is a powerful portion of the Torah. It opens with the Lord speaking to Moses and instructing him to pass along a message to the Israelites: “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” A series of commandments follows. In writing this, I found myself contemplating what does it mean to be “holy?”
Read more: Drash for Achrei Mot/Kedoshim 5775
by Killian Metcalf - April 17, 2015
I always thought those scenes in bad movies with the lepers going around calling out ‘unclean, unclean’ were pure fantasy until I read this portion. So it was real, not fantasy. I tried to imagine what it would be like to have to warn people away from me. Then I remembered my days as a new nurse. I worked the respiratory ward fresh out of school. Because we had so many private isolation rooms, we would be assigned the AIDS patients. This was before the development of life-saving drugs, and the diagnosis was a death sentence.
Read more: Drash for Tazria/Metzora 5775
by Mona Gibson - April 10, 2015
The Torah portion Sh’mini begins with the last of the sacrificial offerings for the dedication of the Tabernacle and ends with the long list of what can and cannot be eaten. In between, however, Aaron’s two oldest sons offer an alien fire to the Lord and they are consumed by the Eternal’s fire. Then it is noted that Aaron was silent.
Read more: Drash for Sh'mini 5775
by Marjorie Hochberg - April 3, 2015
This week’s Torah portion for the first day of Pesach takes us out of the rhythm of the regular cycle of Torah reading, back to parashat Bo. In this portion, God instructs the Israelites about the fine points of the Passover sacrifice, and we read of the last, devastating plague—the death of the firstborn. The Israelites finally leave Egypt with some Egyptian gold and silver, their kneading bowls on their backs, and matzah in hand.
Read more: Drash for Pesach 5775
by Norma Cohen - March 27, 2015
In this second parashah of Leviticus, Tzav, “issue a command,” God lays out final instructions for the preparation and actual ordination of Aaron and his sons, the first professional Jewish priests. Unlike other ancient cultures, the Jewish priestly trade was placed in public view and restricted to men only.
I might have written my drash about yet another omission of women in Torah, but I came across a different interesting factoid about Tzav in a commentary by Rabbi Jonathon Sacks. Tzav contains a Shalshelet, a rare cantillation mark that occurs only three other times in the Torah, all in Bereishit. All four are found at the beginning of sections describing significant inner conflict and/or struggles with leadership.
Read more: Drash for Tzav-HaGadol 5775