d'var Torah

d'var Torah

Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, z'l, speaking and the 2017 URJ Biennial convention

In the absence of Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, z’l, whose life ended tragically and much too soon, may we take comfort in reading his words of Torah.

URJ Staff
Rabbi Rick Jacobs on stage with the Torah during Shabbat morning services at the URJ Biennial

This d'var Torah for Parashah Vayeishev was presented before the 74th Union for Reform Judaism Biennial convention on Saturday, December 9. 

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Cantor Steven Weiss stands on a stage to give a dvar Torah before a sea of Jewish musicians wearing kippot and tallitot at a worship service

Whether you are cantor, soloist, a musician, composer, or an organist, look deep within yourself and ask these simple questions: Am I doing enough? Can I do more?

Cantor Steven Weiss
Laptop on a wooden table surrounded by a coffee cup notebook and phone

We are pleased to announce that Joe Lichtenstein, a sophomore from Temple Emanuel in Roanoke, VA (NFTY Mid-Atlantic Region), is this year’s winner of the 

Kate Bigam
Rick Jacobs delivering his d'var Torah

The following d’var Torah was given by Rabbi Rick Jacobs during Shabbat morning worship at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial 2015 convention on November 7, 2015.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs

At 17-years-old, Joseph is one of the only identified teenagers in the Torah. Joseph is a complicated teen with a fierce rivalry with his brothers and a love of clothing. 

Rabbi Mark Kaiserman

In this week’s Torah portion, Pinchas, God instructs Moses,

“Ascend these heights of Abarim and view the land that I have given to the Israelite people. When you have seen it, you too shall be gathered to your kin, just as your brother Aaron was.”

Although Moses had a marvelous opportunity to see where he had led his people, the act of taking the Israelites across the border – and fighting for the milk and honey – was left to the next generation of leaders.

by Alan Zeichick

by Logan Kramer

Over the past three years, NFTY has taken me to plenty of random places. I’ve held events with my temple youth group in public parks, enjoyed extensive layovers in airports across the country, gone to socials at amusement parks, and visited more congregations than I can count. As I’ve traveled to all of these places, one thing seems to stay the same. I consistently attract confused looks from strangers and passersby, whether I’m chanting the blessing over a Havdalah candle or dancing with friends to NFTY-TOR’s signature “Every Time We Touch” dance.

Surprisingly enough, the moments that attract weird stares are some of my favorite things about NFTY. It’s not that I like the stares themselves, but I appreciate that NFTYites have the amazing capability of turning any space into a holy one, moving our kehilah kedoshah, our holy community, from sanctuaries to parks to airports no matter what stares we might receive along the way. What each person brings to this community is far more important than where we are located on a map.