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A Reform Jewish Community for all of Tucson
225 North Country Club • Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 327-4501 • Fax: (520) 327-4504
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Yom Shabbat, 5 Sivan 5775

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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!

by Rabbi Batsheva Appel - May 8, 2015

“You shall keep My Sabbaths and venerate My sanctuary, I am the Eternal.” [Leviticus 26:2]

After an extensive, detailed description of the observance of the shmitta, the sabbatical year, and the yovel, the jubilee year, and a single verse inveighing against establishing idols to worship in the land, we conclude Parashat Behar with this juxtaposition of Shabbat and God’s sanctuary.

Read more: Drash for Behar 5775

by Arthur Geiger - May 1, 2015

Emor, as with the rest of Leviticus, is a list of commandments. The rules are broken into sections – for priests, for holidays, and for penalties for committing “crimes.”

So what are these commandments? Let me summarize:
    • Kohanim (Priests) must be male, of course;
    • Kohanim need to be perfect physical specimens;
    • Kohanim need to marry virgins;
    • Kohanim may not defile themselves by touching a dead body, unless it is a close relative;
    • A newborn calf, kid, or lamb must be left with its mother, minimally, for seven days before being considered for sacrifice;
    • One cannot slaughter a mother and its offspring on the same day;
    • The following holidays are specified:
         - Shabbat and we are all here;
         - Pesach
         - Counting of the Omer;
         - Shavuot;
         - Sukkot, and;
         - Several others.
    • Lighting a menorah every evening in the Sanctuary, and;
    • The baking of a special bread every Shabbat. Has anyone seen the Challah?

Read more: Drash for Emor 5775

by Mo Goldman - April 24, 2015

The parashah Kedoshim is a powerful portion of the Torah. It opens with the Lord speaking to Moses and instructing him to pass along a message to the Israelites: “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” A series of commandments follows. In writing this, I found myself contemplating what does it mean to be “holy?”

Read more: Drash for Achrei Mot/Kedoshim 5775

by Killian Metcalf - April 17, 2015


I always thought those scenes in bad movies with the lepers going around calling out ‘unclean, unclean’ were pure fantasy until I read this portion. So it was real, not fantasy. I tried to imagine what it would be like to have to warn people away from me. Then I remembered my days as a new nurse. I worked the respiratory ward fresh out of school. Because we had so many private isolation rooms, we would be assigned the AIDS patients. This was before the development of life-saving drugs, and the diagnosis was a death sentence.

Read more: Drash for Tazria/Metzora 5775

by Mona Gibson - April 10, 2015

The Torah portion Sh’mini begins with the last of the sacrificial offerings for the dedication of the Tabernacle and ends with the long list of what can and cannot be eaten.  In between, however, Aaron’s two oldest sons offer an alien fire to the Lord and they are consumed by the Eternal’s fire.  Then it is noted that Aaron was silent.

Read more: Drash for Sh'mini 5775