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Torah and Beyond

Parashat Lekh-Lekha: Hagar, The Immigrant Worker

This parashah begins the story of Hagar's vulnerable place in the household of Abraham and Sarah. Rabbi Renee Bauer asks us to recognize the "Hagars" found all around us. 

Torah scroll being held
Torah scroll being held
Rabbi Deborah Waxman

Video Greeting for the New Year

In this Rosh Hashanah video message, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., president of Reconstructing Judaism, explores the ways in which remembering the past is crucial to moving forward into a sweet New Year. 

Seedling sprouting through crack in the stone
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Hashivenu: A Podcast on Resilience

The deep themes of the High Holiday season drive us to make sense of what's truly important, and sustain us as we strive to recapture those ideals We speak with Rabbi David Teutsch and Rabbi Deborah Waxman about the meaning they find in these holidays.

More on Parashat Lekh-Lekha

Go to Yourself: Abraham and the Spiritual Journey

This week’s Torah portion begins with God’s dramatic call to Abram to go on a life journey that will change him forever. But this potential transformation comes with a price: to pursue this quest Abram and his wife Sarai must leave behind their home, the habitual, and head into the unknown.

D'var Torah

Be a Blessing

Avram and Sarai model a sense of trust in the face of uncertainty. How can we find that sense in our own lives?

D'var Torah

Avraham, Happiness, and God's Open Hand

Our lives are filled with both blessings and hardships. Ellen Dannin suggests Avraham’s approach as a model for making sense of this tension.

D'var Torah

Desperate Immigrants: An Ancient Jewish Story

Abraham and Sarah’s desperate journey to Egypt as refugees reminds us that remembering the heart of the stranger is at the core of Jewish experience.

Article

Hagar: The Immigrant Worker

This provocative Rosh Hashanah sermon draws parallels between Hagar, Sarah’s mistreated servant, and today’s immigrant workers.

Sermon

Lekh Lekha and the Promised Land: Text Study

This text study, prepared by Rabbi Nina Mandel, contains pairs of passages examining biblical and contemporary notions of what “Promised Land” means, and how it has been interpreted by Jewish thinkers over the millennia.

Document