Portion


Stranger in a Strange Season

By Ilana Grinblat

In this week’s column, Rabbi Ilana Grinblat writes about how Christmas imagery is filtered through her young son’s eyes. She draws parallels to the story of Joseph, who, in this week’s Torah portion, reunites in Egypt with his long-estranged brothers.Read More


Lost — And Found (Where You Least Expect It)

By Ilana Grinblat

In this week’s column, Rabbi Ilana Grinblat looks at what the Talmud and this week’s Torah portion, Miketz, says about why sometimes we find what we’re looking for, only once we stop searching.Read More


Coming to Terms With Our Dreams

By Ilana Grinblat

In this week’s column, Rabbi Ilana Grinblat discusses biblical Joseph’s transformation from a dreamer to a dream interpreter — and relates the story to her own young son’s (easily fulfilled) wish.Read More


The Courage To Lose

By Ilana Grinblat

Rabbi Ilana Grinblat writes about her young son’s response to a television wrestling match and about the biblical Jacob’s divine wrestling match. From both, she draws lessons about the sometimes-hidden blessings of defeat.Read More


What's Worth the Wait

By Ilana Grinblat

In this week’s column, Rabbi Ilana Grinblat asks: What happens between childhood and adulthood that causes us to lose our ability to wait? She draws lessons on the power of patience and hopeful anticipation from this week’s Torah portion.Read More


Summarizing 15 Years — and Millennia

By Ilana Grinblat

A college friend of mine recently found me on Facebook. We hadn’t spoken to each other since graduation, but I was happy to hear from him. Since we had been out of touch for so long, he began by summarizing the last 15 years of his life. In a few bullet-pointed sentences, he concisely explained how he had started a Ph.D. program, left to work in the corporate world and married and had a child. I was surprised how such a long period of time could be encapsulated so succinctly, and I did my best to describe my adulthood in a few brief sentences.Read More


Where ‘Love’ First Appears

By Ilana Grinblat

In this column, Rabbi Ilana Grinblat tells of her young son’s exuberant reactions to life’s smallest of joys — and compares these reactions to the overwhelming emotions experienced by the Isaac and Rebecca in this week’s Torah portion.Read More


Seeing God in Each Other

By Ilana Grinblat

Rabbi Ilana Grinblat had always wondered why Jewish tradition calls on us to say a blessing upon seeing a person with a disability. Only after a recent encounter at a restaurant — an encounter with parallels to this week’s Torah portion — does she begin to understand the meaning of this blessing.Read More


Sarah, Hagar and the Monsters Under the Bed

By Ilana Grinblat

A young mother tells of her successful response to her young son’s nighttime fears. She draws parallels between her experience and the story of Hagar, who, in this week’s Torah portion, flees to the wilderness to escape Sarah’s harsh treatment — and finds comfort in an angel’s words.Read More


A Mother’s Regrets — and God’s

By Ilana Grinblat

Becoming a parent has brought great joy to my life. It has also forced me to struggle with the troublesome feeling of regret. When my son was an infant, I was working (more than) full-time as a congregational rabbi and regretted not being able to spend more time with him. Soon after my daughter was born, I left my job so that I could spend more time with my children; in short order, I began to miss the congregation and question my choice to leave. I couldn’t win. In this week’s Torah portion, our Heavenly Parent had the same problem.Read More





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