Parshah Bo: The Power of Awareness

Reconciling the concept of divinity with the ruthless slaughter of infants can prove a barrier of significant challenge, and one that may even be insurmountable. We are called to do so when reading this week’s parshah, and we are also asked to do so when viewing the morning’s global news report. Innocent people, many of […]

Everything You Need For Hanukkah

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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 […]

A Dvar Torah For Thanksgiving

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My favorite episode of King of the Hill is the Thanksgiving episode, where Bobby renounces the holiday in solidarity with John Red Corn, who teaches Bobby about the atrocities that happened to the indigenous people of the United States. Growing up is a terrible thing, because the nostalgia of your childhood gets replaced by the […]

Tishrei: Talking to the Dead

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I thought I’d kick off 5773 by exploring Judaism’s relationship with ancestor engagement, or veneration of the dead. I don’t say “worship” because we don’t do that — at least not officially. Although we seem to mention those ancestors an awful lot. Ever heard the phrase, “The G!d/dess Abraham, Issac, and Jacob,” but I digress. […]

HaShem’s Avatars: Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

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While Shavuot probably deserves the title of Least Appreciated Jewish Holiday among progressive Jews, I’d also like to argue that the trifecta of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah is probably a close second. Sure, some people do the sukkah, but I don’t exactly see my neighbors sleeping in them. Plus, when your sukkah has […]