Rosh Hashanah Torah Readings

Rosh Hashanah Torah Readings
Va'era Vayera | Rosh Hashanah By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary | Holidays

Both of the Torah readings for Rosh Hashanah are taken from Parsha Vayera. The first day reading tracks the birth of Isaac, the exile of Hagar and the subsequent saving of Ishmael. The Akedah or Binding of Isaac is read on the second day.

Rosh Hashanah Torah Reading

The Torah’s Stories…And Our Own (Chancellor Shuly Rubin Schwartz) Reflecting on the very human experiences of our ancestors provide insight into our challenges and hopes.

Life is Good (Chancellor Emeritus Arnold Eisen)

On Judaism and Islam (Chancellor Emeritus Arnold Eisen): “The close kinship of the two faiths and the intertwining of their destinies are fixed at the very moment that the people Israel comes into existence and enters into covenant with God.”

Women of Faith (Rabbi Amy Kalmanofsky): “The women of Parashat Vayera remind us of a faith that does not demand human sacrifice or death but recognizes the needs and demands of the flesh, and serves life above all.”

Rosh Hashanah Reading – First Day

Hagar’s Tears and Our Own (Rabbi Ayelet Cohen): Finding connection instead of despair through the story of Hagar

Running Far, Drawing Near (Rabbi Naomi Kalish): Hagar’s response to crisis

A Hand to Hold (Rabbi Joel Alter): Sustaining Hagar through Ishmael’s blessing

Rosh Hashanah Reading – Second Day

Itzik’s Journey (Dr. David Roskies): Reflecting on the Akedah through Yiddish Poet Itzik Manger

What Did Abraham Actually Know? (Rabbi Tim Bernard): Kant’s thoughts on the validity of Abraham’s actions

Ultimate Values and the Akedah Story (Rabbi Leonard Sharzer): The roles the biblical characters played in the binding of Isaac

Short Videos

Vayera: Hagar, Vision and the Climate Crisis
Rabbi Maor Greene (RS ’22)

Vayera: The Akedah-Compassion and Judgement
Rabbi Blair Nosanwisch (RS ’21)


The Sacrifices of Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac
On the Torah Readings for Rosh Hashana
with Dr. Aaron Koller
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