Remembering our teacher, Neil Gillman z”l

Dr. Gillman was a giant presence at JTS for well over a half century, beginning with his arrival from Montreal in the mid-1950s. His ordination was from JTS and his doctorate from Columbia. Rabbi Gillman was a beloved professor of Jewish thought who played a significant role in mentoring generations of students into careers as…

Toledot 5778b: Hear the Voice of Rebecca

My go-to expert for Parashat Toledot the past few years has been a student at JTS named Lauren Tuchman. She is a senior in the rabbinical school who teaches frequently on topics of disability and Judaism. This year she was selected to present an ELI talk, which has been recorded and will soon be released…

Toledot 5778: A Family of Covenant

[Written for the JTS Torah Commentary] The stories of Genesis are presented as family portraits, but simultaneously they describe the origins of a religious civilization. How did the people of Israel acquire and maintain its distinctive religious mission? Genesis offers not only a window into Israel’s past, but a blueprint for its future. Implicit is…

Hayei Sarah 5778: Only Two Lives to Live

When people ask me what I miss most about being a congregational rabbi, the first thing that comes to mind is nihum aveilim, comforting the bereaved. Of course I enjoyed the simhas more, but when sitting with a family in their living room, or standing with them as they huddled together by the grave, I…

Vayera 5778: Eating with the Angels

Distinguished visitors, would you care for some milk and cheese curds with your steaks? This, apparently is what Abraham offers the three angels whose visit opens our Torah portion, VaYera. There are much meatier morsels in the portion this week—the announcement of Isaac’s birth, the demolition of Sodom and Gomorrah, the incident in Gerar, the…