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Torah and Beyond

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Shemini: Strange Fire

In this creative midrash, Rabbi Steven Nathan delves into the enigmatic story of Nadav and Avihu and their offering of "strange fire."

Yad pointer resting on very old Torah scroll
Yad pointer resting on very old Torah scroll

Tazri'a/Meztora: Why Do We Pray?

Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer reflects on prayer, childbirth, and ritual as they intersect in this week's Torah portion.

Yad pointer resting on very old Torah scroll
Yad pointer resting on very old Torah scroll
Seedling sprouting through crack in the stone
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Hashivenu Episode: Paradox, Complexity and Liberation

We're joined by Professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, one of fewer than 100 Black American women to earn a doctorate in physics — and a Reconstructionist! We discuss the insights she draws from her background as a Black and Ashkenazi Jew, and the richness, complexity, and fruitful challenges that diverse voices bring to the Jewish community. 


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Evolve Podcast

The new Evolve podcast features interviews with thought-provoking rabbis, leaders and creators about the urgent issues faced by Jewish people today.

More on Tazri'a and Metzora

Illness and Connection

In moments of greatest potential isolation — illness and death — connections arise. 

D'var Torah

Birth of Humility

The Torah states that women, after giving birth, need to make a sacrificial offering. But why? Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben suggests that it's not for the reason you think.

D'var Torah

Finding Healing in Separation

When does a disease bring its own cure with it? Rabbi Steven Nathan investigates the deeper meaning of the superficial ailments in Tazria and Metzora.

D'var Torah

Tzara'at and Selfishness

Rabbi Howard Cohen examines the meaning attributed to disease in this Torah portion, and considers its application for today.

D'var Torah

The Gift of Impermanence: A Story for Parashat Tazria/Metzora

This story implicitly addresses the question, “Why does the Torah make such a fuss about skin lesions, of all things?” It is situated in the wilderness camp of the ancient Israelites. A girl discovers an odd lesion on her arm. Eventually this leads to a diagnosis of “tzaraat” and of her being declared impure. She is put into isolation outside the camp. As we accompany her along the way, we learn some spiritual lessons that the Torah may have intended for its ancient audience. 

D'var Torah

Why Do We Pray? A D'var Torah on Tazria/Metzora

What is the difference between religious thought and religious experience? Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer explores this question in the context of parashat Tazria/Metzora.

Spoken Audio