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Articles - Tagged biblical study

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IMG_4510Touting female empowerment, Rabbi Rachel Ain of Sutton Place Synagogue started off class by quoting Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg saying, “Women need to sit front and center if they want to be heard.” Similarly, the Bible’s matriarchs led by example demonstrating their rich influence and strong presence be known. Rebecca lied to Isaac to protect her son’s birthright thereby propelling Jewish lineage. As in the cases of Rebecca, Pharaoh’s midwives and Queen Esther, Rabbi Ain tied and defended these ethical missteps in light of the harsh stakes at hand. Faced with undue pressure under difficult circumstances, these women made complicated and sometimes messy choices to balance their own needs, the needs of their families and the Jewish community. Did the ends justify the means? Absolutely.

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imageLast night, Rabbi Barry Schwartz of New Jersey’s Congregation Bais Emuno and director of Jewish Lights Publishing revealed a sympathetic portrayal of Batsheba or as he put the saga, “…far beyond House of Cards.” Using iconic Western artworks, literature, film and varied midrashim he reminded us just how deeply pervasive and far reaching the temptress archetype still holds. Read more

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At last night’s first of nine Real Housewives of the Bible classes, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of New York’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah set the bar high to provoke and compel contemplation and participation. She deconstructed the story of Abraham’s Egyptian concubine, Hagar, from a uniquely feminist standpoint to 150 eager students. She explained how Hagar became a hero for the African American church during the 19th century as both an ex-slave and single mother who secures redemption and exits as a survivor. Read more

Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center Alan Dershowitz Eliot Spitzer Trial of Abraham
Yesterday morning's long awaited biblical mock-trial was a rousing success, with nearly 1500 people fulfilling their civic duty as jury members for the day. A line-up winding down the street and around the corner began as early as 8am with eager ticket-holders arriving from all over the greater New York City area. Read more