Drash Program

Rabbi Safran delivering the drash for Sh'lach L'cha 5772Participating in our drash program provides an exciting and profound way to involve yourself in Jewish learning and teaching with our entire Temple! Read, study, and write about the Torah portion of the week, and explain what it means to you personally. The drash is delivered at Friday Evening Services at Temple Emanu-El. This is a rare opportunity to engage in the most sacred of Jewish acts, the learning and teaching of Torah.

Contact the Temple office at (520) 327-4501 for more information.

NOTE: Not all past drashot have been posted; check back soon!

Drash for B'reisheet 5774

by Alan Herman - September 27, 2013

Shabbat shalom. The parashah for this Sabbath is B'reisheet, the very first portion of Genesis and of the whole Torah.

It begins so majestically - and have you noticed how many times it says "and it was good"? So God was pleased with his creation.

Read more: Drash for B'reisheet 5774

Drash for Sukkot 5774

by Judy Shepard Gomez - September 20, 2013

Shabbat Shalom, and thank you for sharing this beautiful Shabbat Sukkot with our eighth grade class and the rest of our Temple Emanu-El community.

As I was reading this portion of Ki Tisa from the Book of Exodus, I was reminded of the first day of Religious School after a long wonderful summer of lazy days on vacation, on the beach, or at camp. We (kids, parents, grandparents) suddenly realize that this summer vacation is over and that we are going to have to wake up early and join togethe

Read more: Drash for Sukkot 5774

Drash for Yom Kippur 5774

 by Bonnie Golden - September 13, 2013

Shabbat Shalom and Good Yom Tov.

On this most holy of holy days, Yom Kippur Shabbat, we tune in toward the potential of our best selves. And Shabbat, as we know, is our covenant with the Divine to pause, learn, teach each other, relax, and restore.

It is from this profound place in time and with these themes that I share my interpretation of Nitzavim: stand. In this parshah, Moses concludes his final address to Israel, reiterating our covenant with God. He tells us that if we stray from Torah teachings we will be punished, yet assures us that we will be forgiven and be brought back from exile if we do not stray. Famously, the parshah implores us: "I put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life-if you and your offspring would live-by loving the Lord your God, heeding His commands and holding fast to God."

So I ask, what is this life that we are to choose? The portion clearly states that it is a life of living the covenant and the commandments set forth in Torah. Furthermore, every single Jew is included in this holy covenant, all Jews, whatever our journeys to Judaism: by birth or choice, physically or differently abled, and all manner of social station and partner preference, to name a few. We all count, and we are each responsible.

So to choose life, I believe we must be awake and conscious of our inner and outer world. Our rabbis teach us to stop what we are doing, and notice our lives on this earth by giving us blessings upon seeing a rainbow, or upon rising in the morning, for example.

To choose life, we must choose to see and then act for those less fortunate, and to give appropriately to improve their lives.

In choosing life, we can be awake moment to moment, day to day to the portion of water we use in this desert, or the sources of food we eat and the sources of the clothing we wear.

To choose life, we have the ability to turn off our internal cruise control and be conscious of our personal decisions. We can be quiet and listen within to how we might get carried away with judgment of others, and of ourselves. There is a split second when we are confronted with arising feelings or thoughts that may lead to actions that yes, miss the mark. This year, in that split second, take a deep breath of life, count to ten and essentially, become conscious. As Nitzavim and the Torah teach, make the Jewish, humane, ethical, compassionate, loving, and generous choice, in this life.

Again, Shabbat Shalom and L'Chaim!

Drash for Ha'azinu/Shuvah 5774

 by Rabbi Baruch Cohon - September 5, 2013

Besides leading our people out of slavery and into nationhood, Moses the stutterer managed to sing two great songs that appear in the Torah. The first one was the Song of the Sea -- shirat hayam -- which we repeat daily in traditional services. It was a victory song, celebrating God's help in gaining freedom. When we read it from the Torah, we have a special melody that underscores its drama.

Read more: Drash for Ha'azinu/Shuvah 5774

Drash for Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5773

by Carey Turner - August 30, 2013

This week, we have a double portion from the Torah, Nitzavim and Vayeilech. In Nitzavim, Moses implores the Israelites to live according to the laws God gave them in the desert, or else they will face the world without God's protection. In Vayeilech, Moses prepares to transition leadership to Joshua, and then Moses listens as God gives him a poem to read to the Israelites before they enter the Promised Land.

Read more: Drash for Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5773


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Phone: 520-327-4501
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