Rabbi Debra Orenstein

Rabbi Debra Orenstein

Parashat Vaera (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

If God were to send you on a mission to confront a despot, win the trust of his slaves and lead them in an escape to freedom, you might want a few assurances:

Light the Wick

Chanukah raises many questions: from, “What did you get me?” to, “How do we relate to the dominant culture — in ancient times and today?” Among the most important spiritual inquiries during this Festival of Lights is the meaning of the lights themselves.

Are We There Yet?

When I was an undergraduate, Princeton celebrated the 10-year anniversary of co-education. A T-shirt sold on campus announced: “Ten years of women at Princeton!” Below, in smaller print, it read: “Too bad it took over 200 years.”

What It Takes

This week’s Torah portion, Emor, sheds light on what it takes to be a leader.

Who’s Speaking, Please?

“I am Adonai your God who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves” (Exodus 20:2).

Teshuvah and weight loss

Parshat Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20) The purpose and path of teshuvah are close to us and known to us

Blessing Management

Parshat Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) This week\’s Torah portion describes the bountiful blessings promised to our people by God, if (ekev) we obey the laws of Torah.


Parshat Bechukotai (Leviticus 26:3-27:34)

\” ,,,If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds\’ worth of distance run
Yours is the Earth and everything that\’s in it
And — which is more — you\’ll be a man, my son!\”

What is valuable?

This week\’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa, tells the ultimate cautionary tale about becoming enamored with things. Losing hope and patience as they wait for Moses to descend Mount Sinai, the Israelites build a Golden Calf and worship it.


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