Rabbi Toba Spitzer | Reconstructing Judaism

Rabbi Toba Spitzer

Rabbi, Congregation Dorshei Tzedek (Newton, MA)

Rabbi Toba Spitzer has served Congregation Dorshei Tzedek in West Newton, Mass. since 1997. She served as president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Assocation from 2007-2009.

God in Metaphor: A Guide for the Perplexed

Rabbi Toba Spitzer explores the obstacles to prayer posed by stale language about God, and suggests new language that may ease our way in finding connection.

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Evolution of Hanukkah

A text study on the evolution of Hanukkah. What is the miracle, and what is the light?

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What is the Light of Hanukkah?

Sources, ancient and modern, on the nature of the light of Hanukkah

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Love, Enemies and Evil: Beshalakh Text Study

  In this text study for Parashat Beshalakh, Rabbi Toba Spitzer examines the fate of the Egyptians at the Red Sea and our tradition’s ethical sensitivity to their plight.

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At The Sea: A Selection of Midrashim

This selection of midrashim on the crossing of the Red Sea provides a window into the tradition’s ethical concerns surrounding this well-known story.

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For The Sake Of The World

Rabbi Toba Spitzer grapples wtih the traditional notion of Jewish chosenness, arguing that our Torah is integral to the maintenance and perfection of this world—even as we acknowledge that other people’s teachings, other people’s truths, are also a path to redemption. It matters that  Judaism survives—not just for our own sake, but because it’s good for the world, and because we have unique work to do.

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Changing the Equation: A Reflection On God

Rabbi Toba Spitzer offers a reconceptualization of our image of God through the vehicle of process theology.

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"Peoplehood" Reconsidered

Reconstructionism has long held the notion of Jewish Peoplehood as a central organizing principle. But does it mean the same thing that it used to? How can “Peoplehood” itself be reconstructed to remain relevant today? 

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Why We Need Process Theology

What is “process theology”? Rabbi Toba Spitzer argues that it offers ways to think and talk about God that make sense in a modern scientific framework, that resonate with Jewish texts and traditions, and that promote wise and ethical behavior.

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The Ner Tamid – What is this light?

Rabbi Toba Spitzer explores texts related to the Eternal Light and its symbolism.

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Remembering and "Blotting Out" Amalek

The Torah commands us to “wipe out the memory of Amalek…do not forget!” (Deut. 25) But is Amalek an external enemy—or something inside us?

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Remembering Amalek

The Torah commands us to “wipe out the memory of Amalek…do not forget!” (Deut. 25) What exactly does “Amalek” represent, and what might it mean to remember (or blot out) that memory? 

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Walking the Freedom Walk

A civil-rights era song proclaimed, “No easy walk to freedom.” In this text study based on Parashat Behukotay, we examine what it means to “walk upright.”

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What is Sin? A Text Study

Study sheet on the different interpretations of “sin” throughout Jewish history.

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Nitzavim and Teshuvah

Study sheet on the relationship between Parashat Nitzavim and themes of teshuvah.

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