Parsha Notes

Gayness and God

Parashat Yayishlach - By Rabbi Steve Greenberg - Jacob is returning from Ur to face his brother Esau.   He crosses back over the Yabbok river, and there, finding himself alone, encounters a man who wrestles with him until the morning light. “And Jacob was left by himself [Yaakov levado]; and there a man wrestled with [more]
Between God and Torah: Judaism’s Gambles

Between God and Torah: Judaism’s Gambles

Parashat Toldot by R. Shai Held - Intro by R. Steve Greenberg: For many of us in the Eshel world, remaining connected to a Torah that seems to erase, banish or incriminate our ordinary human desire for intimacy and companionship is an enormous challenge.  In my own life and in the stories that many have [more]
Stranger, Resident, and the Meaning of Belonging

Stranger, Resident, and the Meaning of Belonging

Parashat Chayei Sarah - By Maharat Ruth Friedman - In this week’s parsha, Avraham, who has spent much of the time we have known him wandering, wishes to establish roots in Hevron. The death of Sarah creates a need for him to pay honor to her, and so after his initial mourning, Avraham approaches the [more]
The Wisdoms of Welcome

The Wisdoms of Welcome

Parashat VaYeira - By Rabbi Steve Greenberg - Three tired and hungry travelers are accosted by an old man. He is running, actually limping toward them. He beseeches them to come back with him and to take some nourishment, some food and drink, to rest their feet for a bit in his home. He prepares [more]
Abraham’s Calling: The Journey to Authenticity

Abraham’s Calling: The Journey to Authenticity

Parashat Lech Lecha - By R. Sunnie Epstein, Director Welcoming Shuls Project, Eshel - Our Parsha begins as G-d instructs Avram to leave all that he knows from the past – his land, his birthplace, and his father’s house.   He is called to completely cut himself off from all that has occurred in his [more]
A Fur Coat or a Bonfire

A Fur Coat or a Bonfire

Parashat Noach By Rabbi Steve Greenberg Noah and Abraham are both paragons of righteousness.  While both characters are deemed virtuous, it is not the similarity of these two moral giants that is highlighted by the biblical text and its interpreters, but their difference.   Noah's righteousness is seen as relative and limited, while Abraham's is essential [more]