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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, 6 Iyyar 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 Joe Steiner - July 26, 2013

In this portion, the events of the Exodus continued to be reviewed by Moses as he prepared the people for their journey into Canaan. Moses' position as intermediary between God and the people was made clear. The people were advised that if they were to faithfully obey the rules, God would enable them to prevail in the Promised Land. "Keep, therefore, all the instructions that I enjoin upon you today...." Enemies were to be destroyed and native populations were to be assimilated over the generations. The area to be theirs coincided with the ideal limits of David's empire. That territory was described as extending "...from the wilderness of Lebanon and from the River -- the Euphrates -- to the Western Sea."

Read more: Drash for Eikev 5773

by Simon Rosenblatt - July 19, 2013

This week's Torah portion, Va'etchanan, is one of the seven parashiot leading up to Rosh Hashanah. Yes, the High Holy Days are just a few weeks away, news enough to instill a degree of panic in Jewish clergy and synagogue professionals. The seven Shabbatot between Tisha B'Av, which we marked earlier this week, and Rosh Hashanah are

Read more: Drash for Va'etchanan/Nachamu 5773

by Anne Friedman - July 12, 2013

This week's parshah begins with the phrase: "Eileh ha-d'varim" – these are the words.

In D'varim, or in its English name Deuteronomy, Moses recounts the high points of Israel's journey from Mt. Sinai and tries to prepare the Jewish people for the challenges they will face in the next phase of their journey.

This Book contains three sermons delivered by Moses to the people just before he died. They stress God's special relationship with the Israelites. The first of Moses' speeches begins with a recapitulation of some of the major events which happened to the people during their forty years in the wilderness. Although his audience is the generation born in freedom, Moses speaks to them as though they themselves had committed the sins and expressed the doubts for which their parents had been condemned to perish in the desert. He reminds us that children are indeed the recipients of their parents' legacy. He said, "Now you are ready, with Joshua as your commander, to enter and possess the land that God gives you."

Read more: Drash for D'varim/Chazon 5773

by Chava Gal-Or - July 5, 2013

Throughout my life I have come to understand that we can always learn something from the stories we hear and experience, even the ones that push our buttons.

This week's parshiot (Torah readings) present many challenges to progressive thinkers. In Matot-Masei, women's vows can be altered by their fathers and husbands, kingdoms are destroyed so that the Israelites can conquer and/or inhabit them, and imperialism is at an all time high. Knowing that the Torah portion was written when the sociological fabric of society was not what it is today encourages me to look more deeply at the white space between the words, so that I might find new insight into these old and challenging stories. After reading some fantastic commentaries, I was able to do just that.

Read more: Drash for Matot-Masei 5773

by Mona Gibson - June 28, 2013

This week's Torah portion is filled with many interesting elements. Being a woman, you'd think I'd be drawn to the section about the daughters of Zelophehad who petition, and are granted, the ability to inherit land from their father because he had no sons. And there is the long section about the offerings for all festivals and holidays – also referred to by one of our rabbis as "grilling for G-d" – that should make this foodie's heart jump with joy. But what intrigues me the most is the transition of leadership from Moses to Joshua.

The Eternal One reminds Moses about the time he disobeyed Him and hit a rock to get water rather than speaking to it (an act which occurred just two Saturdays ago). As a result of this recent incident, Moses is told he shall not enter into the Promised Land. After staring down a despot, leading a nation out of tyranny, and having a one-on-one relationship with G-d, Moses will no longer lead his people. If you were in his sandals, wouldn't you be a little miffed? After being an extraordinary leader, worrying day and night about your fledgling nation, doing everything you can to get them to a place of safety, you're told, "Uh no, you can't go."

Read more: Drash for Pinchas 5773

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