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 Matot-Masei 5773

by Chava Gal-Or - July 5, 2013

Throughout my life I have come to understand that we can always learn something from the stories we hear and experience, even the ones that push our buttons.

This week's parshiot (Torah readings) present many challenges to progressive thinkers. In Matot-Masei, women's vows can be altered by their fathers and husbands, kingdoms are destroyed so that the Israelites can conquer and/or inhabit them, and imperialism is at an all time high. Knowing that the Torah portion was written when the sociological fabric of society was not what it is today encourages me to look more deeply at the white space between the words, so that I might find new insight into these old and challenging stories. After reading some fantastic commentaries, I was able to do just that.

Read more: Drash for Matot-Masei 5773

Drash for Pinchas 5773

by Mona Gibson - June 28, 2013

This week's Torah portion is filled with many interesting elements. Being a woman, you'd think I'd be drawn to the section about the daughters of Zelophehad who petition, and are granted, the ability to inherit land from their father because he had no sons. And there is the long section about the offerings for all festivals and holidays – also referred to by one of our rabbis as "grilling for G-d" – that should make this foodie's heart jump with joy. But what intrigues me the most is the transition of leadership from Moses to Joshua.

The Eternal One reminds Moses about the time he disobeyed Him and hit a rock to get water rather than speaking to it (an act which occurred just two Saturdays ago). As a result of this recent incident, Moses is told he shall not enter into the Promised Land. After staring down a despot, leading a nation out of tyranny, and having a one-on-one relationship with G-d, Moses will no longer lead his people. If you were in his sandals, wouldn't you be a little miffed? After being an extraordinary leader, worrying day and night about your fledgling nation, doing everything you can to get them to a place of safety, you're told, "Uh no, you can't go."

Read more: Drash for Pinchas 5773

Drash for Balak 5773

by Renee Geffen - June 21, 2013

This parsha has got to be one of the most entertaining in Torah! The Midianite soothsayer named Balaam believes in, and converses with, the Hebrew God. The Moabite King Balak pleads and offers rewards to Balaam if he will come see the Hebrew people and curse them.

Read more: Drash for Balak 5773

Drash for Chukat 5773

by Ela-Joy Lehrman - June 14, 2013

Making Way for the New Generation

This week's Torah portion is set in the last of the 40 years of our people wandering in the wilderness. We are told of the passing of the leaders, the elders of the Jewish people (Aaron, Miriam and Moses). Thus the end of the wandering in the wilderness is marked by the passing of a generation. One must note that this also means that a new generation will be moving forward into the leadership roles. There will be new leaders for the new land.

Read more: Drash for Chukat 5773

Drash for Korach 5773

by Olga Cohen - June 7, 2013

In Parshat Korach the Israelites are in the desert on their journey to the Promised Land. In previous parshiot we have seen them receive the Torah at Mt. Sinai, but soon thereafter we see rebellion. This is a people in its spiritual infancy, a people with newly-found freedom from Egyptian slavery who are now striving to realize the consequences of making choices. They will stumble for many generations before internalizing all that God had revealed on that awesome day at Har Sinai.

Read more: Drash for Korach 5773

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