Jewish Traditions on Healing

Jewish Traditions on Healing

Oct 5, 2012 By Burton L. Visotzky | Public Event video

You or someone you know is ill; how would you proceed? Many people turn to their religion in these situations. Many religions have similar practices and beliefs when it comes to healing, and therefore, in commemoration of September 11th, 2001, this program will explore the Jewish view on healing.

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Redemption Through Law

Redemption Through Law

Jan 28, 2012 By Burton L. Visotzky | Commentary | Bo

In the midst of the tumult of the Exodus—while the plagues are still falling like locusts upon Egypt; after the deep darkness that plunged the land back into primal chaos; as the Israelite slaves desperately and, it must be admitted, somewhat gleefully despoil their former masters just after the ominous warning has been issued of the impending death of Egypt’s firstborn—the Torah pauses in its breathless narrative as if for a commercial break, a word from our Sponsor.

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Sage Tales: Wisdom and Wonder From the Rabbis of the Talmud

Sage Tales: Wisdom and Wonder From the Rabbis of the Talmud

Oct 27, 2011 By Burton L. Visotzky | Public Event audio

Dr. Burton Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies and director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS, presents a Library Book Talk on his new work Sage Tales: Wisdom and Wonder from the Rabbis of the Talmud.

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Jewish Responses to Mourning

Jewish Responses to Mourning

Sep 11, 2011 By Burton L. Visotzky | Public Event video

You or someone you know is in mourning; how would you proceed? Many people turn to their religion in these situations. Many religions have similar practices and beliefs when it comes to death and mourning, and therefore, in commemoration of September 11th, 2001, this program will explore the Jewish view on mourning.

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A Lesson From Sarajevo

A Lesson From Sarajevo

Oct 9, 2010 By Burton L. Visotzky | Commentary | Noah

It was raining when we visited Mostar, a city enshrined in memory by Christiane Amanpour reporting for CNN while standing in front of the ruins of the historic bridge that had united the city before the war devastated Yugoslavia. In 1993, that bridge was destroyed by shelling after standing for 427 years. On one side lived Christians, and on the other, Muslims. Before the war, Christians and Muslims freely crossed the bridge. They did business together, rejoiced together, married one another. Families had extensive ties on both sides of the Neretva River (see photo below). As the Bible might say, they shared “the same language and the same words.”

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Realpolitik and the Exodus

Realpolitik and the Exodus

Jan 23, 2010 By Burton L. Visotzky | Commentary | Bo

This devar Torah is about religion, politics, and war. We are a country currently fighting two foreign wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and a war on terror at home and abroad. My intention is not to tilt Republican or Democrat; rather, the point of these words of Torah is to reflect on what it means to be Jewish under these circumstances. Or to ask in the classic rabbinic formulation: what can this week’s Torah portion teach us?

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Learning From a Dream

Learning From a Dream

Dec 5, 2008 By Burton L. Visotzky | Commentary | Vayetzei

This week’s Torah reading, Parashat Va-yetzei, begins with Jacob’s famous dream, in which he sees a ladder stretching all the way up to the very heavens. The dream ends with God’s promise to him that “the ground that you are lying upon I will give to you and your offspring. Your seed shall be as numerous as the dust of the earth, you shall spread out to the west, east, to the north and south . . . “

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Between Creation and the Flood

Between Creation and the Flood

Oct 29, 2005 By Burton L. Visotzky | Commentary | Bereishit

In the beginning, Dr. Ismar Schorsch was a rigorous scholar, a great teacher, and Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary.

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The Truth about the Exodus

The Truth about the Exodus

Apr 30, 2005 By Burton L. Visotzky | Commentary | Pesah

This past December, I went with my wife and two adult children on a family vacation to Egypt.

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Abraham’s Landsmann

Abraham’s Landsmann

Nov 7, 1997 By Burton L. Visotzky | Commentary | Lekh Lekha

I was honored when Chancellor Schorsch asked me to fill in for him and write a d’var torah on Parashat Lech Lecha, because for this one week each year he and I are Landsmann. The word, in German or Yiddish, denotes compatriots, fellow countrymen. My own family ancestry traces back to Byelorussia, my grandparents hailing from Minsk and Pinsk. The Chancellor comes, as his readers surely know, from Germany. But each of us share a patrimony in this week’s Torah reading, for Parashat Lech Lecha was the bar mitzvah portion each of us chanted in our respective congregations all those many years ago.

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