January 22, 2019

Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Devarim with Rabbi Alan Freedman

Our guest this week is Rabbi Alan Freedman, leader of Temple Beth Shalom in Austin, Texas. Rabbi Freedman was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati and holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In addition to serving at Temple Beth Shalom, Rabbi Freedman has taught in the SAGE Program at UT and is an active member of the interfaith clergy community. He also serves as a member of the Ethics Committee for the St. David’s Hospital system, co-chairs the Clergy Advisory Board for the Austin Area Interreligious Ministries, and chairs the Clergy Advisory Committee as well as serving on the Board of Planned Parenthood in Austin.

This week's Torah portion – Parashat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22) – is the first portion from the book of Deuteronomy. In this parasha, Moses begins his review of the story of the people of Israel in the 40 years following their exodus from Egypt. In his narrative, he recalls events such as his appointment of Judges and magistrates; the wandering through the desert; the sending of the spies; the people's spurning of the Promised Land; the wars fought against the Emorite kings; and his own words of encouragement to his successor Joshua.

Our previous discussions of parashat Devarim:

Rabbi Rachel Isaacs on the role of personal narrative and life experiences in forming our attitude towards our legacy.

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer on the interesting opening of the retelling of the story of Israel in the desert.