A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh

D’var Torah: We dance with the souls of our namesakes to find ourselves

RABBI ELIZABETH HERSHPublished December 1, 2022

“Alexander the Great had a soldier in his army who bore his own name but was a great coward. The emperor, enraged at the soldier’s conduct, justly said to him, ‘Either change your name, or learn to live up to it.’ ” (From “A Complete Treasury...

Dvar Torah: Maybe the Tower of Babel wasn’t so bad

D’var Torah: Maybe the Tower of Babel wasn’t so bad

RABBI DAVID A. REINHARTPublished October 27, 2022

This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Noach, tells the story of the eponymous Noah. Over six chapters (Genesis 6:9-11:32) and 153 verses, we read of Noah, the flood, the dove and olive branch, God’s promise to never again destroy the world and,...

Rabbi Amy Feder

D’var Torah: Moses sets the standard for living our best selves 

Rabbi Amy Feder Published August 12, 2022

At the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, Moses has finally led the Israelites across the wilderness and he turns his eyes to gaze on the Promised Land. It seems as if it should be a joyous moment, but we know that it’s actually bittersweet,...

Dvar Torah: Quietly cultivate ‘earth-wisdom’ to help heal the world

D’var Torah: Quietly cultivate ‘earth-wisdom’ to help heal the world

RABBI JANINE SCHLOSSPublished July 7, 2022

I grew up mostly in California, and people often presume that I must have spent my whole life out communing with nature. In truth, I was never a big hiker, and I absolutely hated camping and boating. As an adult, I still hate camping, but I have...

Torah gives us all a chance to be included in creating the sacred

Torah gives us all a chance to be included in creating the sacred

RABBI CARNIE SHALOM ROSEPublished June 16, 2022

“And the Almighty spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and say to him, When you mount the lamps, let the seven lamps give light at the front of the lampstand.” (Numbers 8:1-2) All too often, I hear from my students about how “irrelevant and anachronistic”...

Dvar Torah: ‘Earth-centered spirituality’ leads to harmony with the world

D’var Torah: ‘Earth-centered spirituality’ leads to harmony with the world

RABBI NEAL ROSEPublished May 19, 2022

What is Jewish time? I am not referring to our supposed casual approach to arriving at appointments or even at synagogue services. Rather, how do our spiritual teachers understand the nature of time? Rabbi Gershon Winkler teaches that “time...

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Carnie Rose: Talk to one another with love, respect and holiness

D’var Torah by Rabbi Carnie Rose: Talk to one another with love, respect and holiness

RABBI CARNIE SHALOM ROSEPublished May 12, 2022

This Shabbat, we will read Parashat Emor from the Book of Leviticus. Like many of the other Parshiot in this section of the Chumash, Emor highlights the special responsibilities and obligations placed upon the Kohanim, the Priestly Class of Ancient Israel. One...

Rabbi Zeev Smason

Rabbi Ze’ev Smason to retire in fall 

DANIEL SHANKER, FRESHMAN, YESHIVAT KADIMAH HIGH SCHOOLPublished May 4, 2022

Judaism values a variety of interpersonal traits. Rabbi Ze’ev Smason of Nusach Hari B’nai Zion, a modern Orthodox synagogue in Olivette, sums them up in four words: “To be a mensch.” “[Being a mensch] means being a person of scrupulous...

Photo: Bill Motchan

D’var Torah: Do not remain silent; pour out your hurt

Rabbi James Stone GoodmanPublished April 29, 2022

We begin with sadness in this portion. And so the maqam, the musical figure in our communities of the eastern Mediterranean  associated with this portion, is maqam hijaz. A maqam is a musical figure, a partial scale, a modal form. The word maqam is a...

How introducing more G-d into our lives can ensure better decision-making

How introducing more G-d into our lives can ensure better decision-making

RABBI CHAIM A. LANDAPublished April 10, 2022

As a rabbi and spiritual mentor, I am frequently approached by community members who are struggling with making important life decisions, whether in their personal or professional capacities. These can be small things or some of life’s greater challenges:...

Portrait of Rabbi Josef Davidson

D’var Torah by Rabbi Josef Davidson: Creating community

RABBI JOSEF DAVIDSONPublished March 10, 2022

With this week's Torah portion the third book of the Torah, Vayikra ("[God] called [to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting]..."), is read. Vayikra is also called Torat Cohanim in Hebrew, which corresponds to the name most commonly known, "Leviticus."...

Rabbi Neal Rose

D’var Torah: Judaism recognizes power of coming together as community

RABBI NEAL ROSEPublished March 3, 2022

The late Rabbi Bernard Lipnick kept a plaque on his desk that read, “No One of us is smarter than All of us.” In this week’s Torah reading we hear about the final stages in the construction of the portable sanctuary known as the Mishkan or the...

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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.