Tag Archives: dvar torah

Speaking, Naming and Celebrating the Component Parts of Liberation: D’var Torah for Parashat VaEira

Movement work is hard. Paths to possible victories pass through certain defeats. It is impossible to do the work of justice and liberation without bouts of debilitating self-doubt and glimpses over the precipice of despair, when we think we’re not … Continue reading

There’s a Riot Goin’ On: Talking about Violence and Power, Part II: D’var Torah for Parashat VaYehi

“Shim‘on and Levi are brothers, weapons of violence their trade” (Bereishit/Genesis 49:5). Four weeks ago, in Parashat VaYishlah, we read of Shim‘on and Levi’s premeditated massacre of all men of the town of Shekhem in order to rescue their sister … Continue reading

Multiple Meanings in Texts, Multiple Dynamics in Power Relationships: D’var Torah for Parashat VaYiggash

Parashat Va-Yiggash (Bereishit 44:18-47:27) Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein, Avodah National Jewish Educator For the past week, we have dwelled in the strange and tense pause between the beginning of Yehuda’s speech to Yoseph, at the end of last week’s parasha, and … Continue reading

“It Was On Rosh HaShana that Yoseph Was Freed from Prison”: The Death of Prison and the Birth in Release, Parashat Mikketz, 5781/2020

Our parasha begins with Yoseph in prison. Despite his stunning good looks, his charisma, and talents, in the land of Egypt, he is alone, destitute, and vulnerable. Framed for a sexual assault he didn’t commit by someone who actually tried … Continue reading

Avodah Devar Torah for Parashat Hayei Sarah: Yitzhak: The Dispossessed Building Solidarity with the Dispossessed

Yitzhak: The Dispossessed Building Solidarity with the Dispossessed Parashat Hayei Sarah (Bereishit/Genesis 23-25:18) Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein,  Avodah National Jewish Educator, 5781 Hayei Sarah is a parashah of stinging irony. We enter the parashah wondering how Sarah will receive her broken … Continue reading