Taste of Torah – Archives

|Taste of Torah – Archives
Taste of Torah – Archives2018-03-19T11:47:11+00:00

Rabbi Rader’s Taste of Torah

March / April 2018
Hebrew month of Nisan – Happy Passover – Who is hero?

Think & Discuss:

What does the song mean by “Pharaoh is knocking at my door?”
How did Moses fight back against Moses?
How can we combat Pharaohs in our world today?
When do you feel brave? When do you feel afraid?

JEWISH TEXT:

בכל דור ודור חיב אדם לראות את עצמו
כאילו הוא יצא ממצרים.
In every generation each person is obligated to see himself as if he had gone forth from Egypt.
What aspects of the Exodus story can you relate to personally?

Rabbi Rader’s Taste of Torah

February / March 2018
Hebrew month of Adar – Happy Purim

Think & Discuss:

Neshamah means soul. It also means breath and person. How are these
three words related?
In this prayer, the words repeat like a mantra. How can this help us pray?
What hurdles do you find to Jewish prayer?
What prayerful experiences have you had?

JEWISH TEXT:

כֹּל הַנְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ
הַלְלוּיָהּ
Kol haneshamah t’haleil Yah, halleluyah.
Every soul will praise God, halleluyah.

What does this prayer teach about the interconnectedness of life?

Rabbi Rader’s Taste of Torah

January / February 2018
Hebrew month of Shevat – Every Soul

Think & Discuss:

Neshamah means soul. It also means breath and person. How are these
three words related?
In this prayer, the words repeat like a mantra. How can this help us pray?
What hurdles do you find to Jewish prayer?
What prayerful experiences have you had?

JEWISH TEXT:

כֹּל הַנְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ
הַלְלוּיָהּ
Kol haneshamah t’haleil Yah, halleluyah.
Every soul will praise God, halleluyah.

What does this prayer teach about the interconnectedness of life?

December 2017 / January 2018
Hebrew month of Tevet – Who is God?

Think & Discuss:

What does the singer mean when he says “I won’t let go, even in a million years?”
How does believing in God require patience?
What challenges do you have believing in God?
What models of faith in God do you see in your life?

JEWISH TEXT:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, פּוֹקֵֽחַ עִוְרִים.
Blessed are You Adonai, King of the universe, who opens the eyes of the blind.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, מַלְבִּישׁ עֲרֻמִּים.
Blessed are You Adonai, King of the universe, who clothes the naked.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, זוֹקֵף כְּפוּפִים.
Blessed are You Adonai, King of the universe, who straightens the bent.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַנּוֹתֵן לַיָּעֵף כֹּֽחַ.
Blessed are You Adonai, King of the universe who gives strength to the tired.
(From the prayerbook, morning blessings)

The morning blessings include these descriptions of God’s actions.
What do these statements teach us about God’s nature?

November / December 2017
Hebrew month of Kizlev – Happy Hanukah – Be the Light!

Think & Discuss:

What does it mean to you to be described as “light”?
What mistakes and brokeness pieces would you like to remove from your identity?
What feeling do you get watching India Arie sing this song?
Hanukah commands us to bring light into the darkest month of the year. What is the spiritual message of lighting candles in the darkness?

JEWISH TEXT:

אוֹר חָדָשׁ עַל צִיּוֹן תָּאִיר, וְנִזְכֶּה כֻלָּֽנוּ מְהֵרָה לְאוֹרוֹ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, יוֹצֵר הַמְּאוֹרוֹת.

Or chadash al tziyon ta’ir, vnizkeh khulanu m’heirah l’oro. Baruch atah Adonai, yotzeir ham’orot.
Shine a new light on Zion and may we all soon be worthy of its light.
Blessed are You Adonai, the creator of light.
(From the prayerbook, morning service)

How can we connect with God through the blessing of light?

October / November 2017
Hebrew month of Cheshvan – Shabbat Silence

Think & Discuss:

How do we talk without speaking? How do we hear without listening?
What does it mean to bow and pray to neon gods?
Why is silence valuable?
How can Shabbat be a time to connect face to face with family and friends?
What are some times you find it important to put down technology and connect with people?

JEWISH TEXT:

לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה, פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה.

Lcha dodi likrat kalah, pnei Shabbat n’kablah
Come my beloved to meet the bride, let us welcome the presence of Shabbat.
(From the Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service)

Shabbat is compared to a bride. What message does this teach us about the value of Shabbat?

September / October 2017
Hebrew month of Tishrei – Jewish Pride

Think & Discuss:

What Jewish symbols do you see in this video?
Do you wear Jewish symbols – Star of David, Mezuzah, Hebrew names jewelry?
Why or why not?
Are there situations where you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying you’re Jewish?
Are there aspects of being Jewish of which you are not proud?
Is there a difference between the terms Jew, Israelite and Hebrew? Which one do you most identify with and why?

JEWISH TEXT:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשַֽׂנִי יִשְרָאֵל

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam, she’asani Yisrael.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, who created me as a Jew (Israelite).
(From the prayerbook, morning service)

This prayer comes from our morning list of blessings in which we thank God for the every day gifts of our lives. In what ways is being a Jew a blessing to you?

August / September 2017
Hebrew month of Elul – Making Peace

Think & Discuss:

What does it mean to be a “living sanctuary”?
What does love prepare us for?
What are some places you feel holiness?
How can we bring holiness out of the sanctuary and into our daily interactions?
How is making peace – oseh shalom – related to being a “living sanctuary”?

Jewish Text:

עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו, הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵֽינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן.

Oseh shalom bimromav hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol Yisrael v’imru Amen.
God who makes peace in the heavens will make peace amongst us and all of Israel.
We say, Amen.
(From the prayerbook)

This prayer teaches us to that God makes peace in the heavens and on earth. How can we partner with God to make more peace on earth?

August 2017
Hebrew month of Av – Doing Good

Think & Discuss:

What motivated the man in the video to do good?
Can you do good without expecting thanks or acknowledgement?
What are some small things that make a difference in your life?
Why is it tempting to take small things for granted?

Jewish Text:

Lo alecha hamlacha ligmor, v’lo atah ben chorin l’hibatel mimena.
You are not expected to complete the task but neither are you free to avoid it.
Rabbi Tarfon, Pirkei Avot 2:21

How is the man in the video an example of this Jewish teaching?

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