Eshel Out Loud

News, Views, and Updates from the Eshel Community

INSIDE – OUT: Purim as a Jewish Coming-Out Day

INSIDE – OUT: Purim as a Jewish Coming-Out Day

Purim is a holiday that celebrates the power of secrets and their revelation. The rabbis of the Talmud mark Purim explicitly as the festival of masks--which calls for nothing less than an unmasking of ourselves and ultimately, of God. This is the one time of the year when drinking a bit too much is a [more]
What is Chanukah?

What is Chanukah?

What is Chanukah?    This is how the Talmud begins its short foray into the origins of Chanukah. Remarkably, there is very little material in the Talmud on Chanukah.  While Purim has a tractate all its own, Chanukah merits a few scattered lines and a number of minor mentions.  Chanukah was apparently not very much [more]
Parshat Vayeira

Parshat Vayeira

The Eshel community was invited to spend a recent Shabbat with the Sixth Street and Stanton Street shuls, two Orthodox communities on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  The hospitality, hachnassat orchim, extended by these shuls made us feel like these were our communities.  Orthodox allies intermingled, learned together, ate and celebrated with Eshel folk. The biggest challenge of [more]
Homosexuality and the human condition

Homosexuality and the human condition

Originally posted on Times of Israel For those who think that Orthodox means static and unresponsive to new understanding, well, think again. In a recent interview (in Hebrew) by a religious news organization, Makor Rishon, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, an outspoken Orthodox leader and the chief rabbi of Efrat, has shared that he believes homosexuals are [more]