January 23, 2019

Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Lech Lecha with Rabbi Michelle Dardashti

Our guest this week is Rabbi Michelle Dardashti, the Rabbi of Brown RISD Hillel and Associate University Chaplain for the Jewish Community at Brown University. Rabbi Dardashti was ordained and received a Master’s in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). Prior to this position, she served as Director of Community Engagement at Temple Beth El in Stamford, Connecticut, a position in which she worked specifically to cultivate those at the fringes of community (potentially just entering or just exiting), such as young families, teens, and young professionals, through a grassroots model of engagement. Before that, Dardashti was the Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Manhattan for two years, where she taught, oversaw a conversion program, and lead prayers.  

This week's Torah portion – Parashat Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1–17:27) – features Abram's Journey to the land of Canaan, his forced departure to Egypt, his covenant with God, the birth of Ishmael, Abram's circumcision, and the changing of his name to Abraham. Our conversation will focus on the questions of why Abraham is sent forth by God and why he's responsive to God's call.

Our past discussions of Parashat Lech Lecha:

Rabbi Hyim Schafner on the character of Abraham, why he was chosen, and the importance of his journey to Israel

Danya Ruttenberg on the symbolic nature of the uncertainty facing Abraham and the problematic father-son relationships in the stories of the patriarchs