Parshah Miketz: The Identity Politics of Christmas


I adore Christmas. The sparkling lights and trees bedecked with glitter and glass bring magical warmth to every space they inhabit. Multicolored garlands and ridiculous inflatable Christmas characters electrify lawns across America. Heartfelt songs of goodwill and giddy anticipation dominate the airwaves, and the surplus of rich, sugary treats ensure most around me are happily […]

Everything You Need For Hanukkah


It’s almost Hanukkah! Or is it Chanukkah? Anyway, it’s the Festival of Lights, and you’re rummaging all over the internet for cool Hanukkah crafts, Hanukkah recipes and of course the “how do I light a menorah” question. Well, look no more, because it’s all here at PunkTorah. JEWISH LEARNING: First, get in the spirit of […]

Parshah Vayeshev: Brotherhood


Both as a concept and in practical application, sisterhood has been enthusiastically embraced by progressive Jewish movements. Official Sisterhoods can be found in Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist synagogues. Certain Orthodox shuls and learning centers have instituted their own women’s division. Rarely, however, do we hear of brotherhood. Sisterhood as encompassing the nurturing, emotionally intimate relationships […]

Parshah Vayishlach: The Exhilaration of Vengeance


Despite its lack of productive application in our world, the concept of vengeance can seem sweet, satisfying and even righteous. When a wrong of great egregiousness has been perpetrated against the innocent, our initial response may be an anger-fueled compulsion towards retaliation. We may entertain thoughts of inflicting harm or even abject violence. We may […]

Parshah Va’yetzei: Faith as an Ultimatum


Fueled by nothing more than Twizzlers, black coffee, and grooves cranked to blasting, I drove through the day and deep into the night. From Arizona to Pennsylvania and back again, I stopped only for gas and more coffee, driving on until exhaustion overcame me and fatigue forced me off the road. My Tanakh rode shotgun, […]