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Welcome to A Dash of Drash, a weekly podcast reflection on our world through the lens of Torah with Rabbi Marc Soloway and special guests. Produced by Sari Levy. Open and closing music from "Nishmat" by Joey Weisenberg Marc Soloway has been the Rabbi of Bonai Shalom Synagogue in Boulder, Colorado since 2004. Marc is a native of London, England where he was an actor and practitioner of complimentary medicine before training as a rabbi in London, Jerusalem and Los Angeles. He loves skiing, mou ...
 
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show series
 
Today can so easily feel like yesterday and tomorrow, especially right now. Making each day count, imbuing every day with meaning is hard but important. The annual counting ritual of the 49 days of the Omer between two harvest, between redemption and revelation can help us create a daily and deeply personal map for this strange, uncertain journey w…
 
I stumbled upon a profound meditation practice taught by Reb Zalman about connecting to Divine Breath, which is offered here. These are very difficult and frightening days for most of us as our worlds get smaller and we are confined to our homes. We begin the third book of the Torah this week, Vayikra/Leviticus with its details of animal sacrifices…
 
In this week's Torah portion, Vayishlach, Jacob wrestles all night long with an angel of God and, in his victory, gets a new name and a new identity - Yisrael - the one who wrestles with God. Wrestling with God can mean so many different things to each of us. In this episode (100!) the focus is on the dynamic tensions that exist in religious and sp…
 
Greg and Marc started their rabbinical journey together over 20 years ago in London. Rabbi Greg Alexander is rabbi of Temple Israel in Cape Town, South Africa and has just finished a sabbatical with his family in New York City, where Greg and Marc spent time together. In this episode, they reflect on havruta, spiritual friendship, angels, dreams, l…
 
Recorded live at Camp Ramah in the Rockies, Rabbi Marc is joined by Rabbi Noah Farkas of Valley Beth Shalom in Los Angeles. They reflect on identity, leadership, unique personal gifts and so much more; all inspired by Parshat Hukkat (Numbers 19-22) and the experience of being up at camp.By Rabbi Marc Soloway
 
The space beyond words is no words. Silence. We so need more of it in this chattering world. Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing down the Bones and many other books, teaches writing as spiritual practice. Natalie has been a Zen practitioner and teacher for many years and in this conversation, she reflects on her search to find silence in her own Je…
 
Communities can be complex because people are complex. It is so easy to judge, to dismiss, even to diagnose others when without the skills, knowledge or right to do so! The Torah readings of Tazria and Metzora (Leviticus chapters 12-15)speak of particular conditions, diseases, symptoms and part of the healing is that the Kohen, the Priest sees the …
 
Hazan Sabrina Sojourner is a spiritual leader, cantor, activist and writer based in Maryland. The Torah in Vayikra (Leviticus) brings the categories of "Tahor" and "Tamei" often translated as "pure" and "impure." They cannot really be translated and refer to states of being inside and outside. As a Jew of Color, Sabrina reflects on how these terms …
 
The Zohar is the central work of Kabbalah, Jewish Mysticism and Professor Danny Matt spent 18 years translating it into English. He has also written about a dozen books on Kabbalah and taught all over the world as one of the most renowned scholars on the subject. Danny combines academic knowledge with deep and thoughtful spiritual wisdom and opens …
 
On a writing retreat in Santa Fe with Natalie Goldberg and Rob Wilder, I learned a lot about writing as a spiritual practice and the importance of details. This applies to all forms of creativity, including the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle/Sanctuary) in the desert, which begins in this week's parsaha, Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19). What do…
 
Joey Weisenberg is one of the most inspiring voices in the contemporary Jewish music world and is the director of Hadar's Rising Song Institute risingsong.org and author of The Torah of Music. In the week of Shabbat Shirah, the Shabbat of Song, recorded live from then Ohalah Conference, join this amazing conversation about the blues, Jewish music a…
 
This conversation was recorded at a very special gathering of rabbis in Vail, Colorado called the Oneg Conference. I am joined by Rabbi Elyse Frishman, editor of Mishkan T'Filah, the Reform Movement's prayer book published in 2007. Reflecting on this week's Parsha, Bo (Exodus 10:1–13:16)we talk about hard and soft hearts, vulnerability and much mor…
 
This week I have been a participant in Hadar Institute's "Singing Communities Intensive." 100s of people gathered together at B'nai Jeshurun in Manhattan to sing, teach, learn and listen led by Joey Weisenberg and other amazing teachers. Rabbi Aviva Richman, a teacher of Talmud at Hadar, integrates heart and song into her teaching and, as we begin …
 
The Book of Genesis ends again with Parshat Vayechi, which means "and he lived," but is actually talking about Jacob's death. It is the second parsha in Bereshit whose title refers to life, but tells of death, which invites us to see the life that comes out of death through legacy and memory. This also marks the second anniversary of Dash of Drash!…
 
I have had the amazing gift of time in Warsaw, Krakow, Auschwitz, Berlin, Prague and Thereseinstadt in the last couple of weeks. Of course, I have seen absolute horror that defy the imagination, but I have also seen hope and renewal. In Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43), the Torah describes a reconciliation of Jacob and Esau, but the rabbis are not s…
 
I visited Auschwitz for the first time last week and am still processing that whole experience, which has left a lasting imprint on me. In Parshat Vayetze (Genesis 28:10 - 32:3), there are several references to HaMakom - the place, which can be any place where we are conscious. Jacob happens upon a "random place" and lays down his head and dreams o…
 
I had a very powerful week in Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama. I was part of a delegation of 35 rabbis and other Jewish leaders with T'ruah - A Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, visiting the Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, both created by the Equal Justice Initiative. In Parshat Vayera in the Torah, we read the painf…
 
The stories in Genesis are full of depth, mystery and profound lessons for each generation. Parshat Noah begins with the story of the catastrophic flood and ends with tale of The Tower of Babel. Michael Kagan, a friend and teacher in Jerusalem, shares some deep insights on this Babel story its comment on human civilization in a conversation with Ra…
 
It can be hard to feel satisfied in this world that screams at us that we always need more! There is an important relationship between satisfaction and gratitude and the power of blessings. The rabbis of the Talmud invite us to say 100 blessings a day and one of the sources is from this week's Torah portion, Ekev, which says "you will eat, you will…
 
In Parshat Etchanan, the second portion from Devarim, the Book of Deuteronomy, along with the Shema and second version of the Ten Commandments, we are introduced to the concepts of devekut, cleaving to Godliness, and ayn od milvado; there is nothing other than God. Does this mean that if we are spiritual, we transcend all the grossness of our physi…
 
The third Jonathan from London is Jonathan Boyd who is the Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (http://www.jpr.org.uk) in London. Jon, a good friend, uses statistics wisely and carefully to define trends in the Jewish community. As Tisha b'Av, when we commemorate destruction and loss, approaches, this discussion reflects …
 
Towards the end of The Book of Numbers, there is a list of 42 places on the Israelite's journey as they approach their new home. It is reminiscent of the wanderings of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers of which there are some 65 million in our world today. Marc's mentor, teacher and friend Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg of New North London Synagogue…
 
The film maker Jonathan Glazer is Rabbi Marc's oldest friend and for years, they have enjoyed conversations on where art, religion, spirituality and culture meet and diverge. They met at JW3, London's Jewish Community Center, and talked for hours. On the Jewish calendar, we find ourselves in a period of three weeks of mourning as we approach Tisha …
 
In Parshat Hukkat (Numbers 19:1-22:1), Miriam and Aaron die and Moses is told that he will not lead the people into the Promised Land. Recorded live at Ramah in the Rockies, Rabbis Gavriel Goldfeder and Salomon Gruenwald join Rabbi Marc for a lively conversation about the transitions in leadership. Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder works at MIT Hillel and ha…
 
This episode was recorded on a recent trip to Jerusalem before the current explosion in violence and the relocation of the US Embassy. The rabbis make a distinction between earthly and heavenly Jerusalem and these reflections on the power of Shavuot from the heart of the world have the hope of heaven and the prayer of healing. Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan …
 
This week is the sixth and penultimate week of the counting the Omer. It is Yesod, which is about foundation, connection, sexuality and integrity in relationship. We also end the third book of the Torah this week, Vayikra (Leviticus), with so many laws and rituals of purity, the body and blood. A woman priest and a male rabbi reflect on some of the…
 
This week's parsha (Emor) includes the instruction to count 50 days, the period known as Sefirat HaOmer. In the Torah, this is an agricultural ritual linking the barley harvest to the wheat harvest marking each day with a special wave offering of barley; for the rabbis it marks the journey from freedom of slavery in Egypt to accepting the covenant …
 
This episode comes live from Jerusalem in a period that some call "the Israeli High Holidays," moving from Yom HaShoah, commemorating the Holocaust, to Yom HaZikkaron, memorial day for the fallen soldiers and victims of terror and Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. This year marks Israel's 70th birthday. Rabbi Marc's teacher and friend Reb …
 
As our Jewish calendar takes us on the journey from slavery to freedom to receiving the Torah on Sinai, join a conversation at BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy with its director Jory Hanselman. BaMidbar, the nation's first Jewish wilderness therapy program, integrates Jewish learning and values into an intensive backcountry, therapeutic experience. Duri…
 
The process of preparation and the practice of Pesach can be intense, and is really intended to be a journey of liberation. Michael Kagan from Jerusalem is an old friend and the author of The Holisitc Haggadah (KTAV Publishing), which is a fascinating guide to the inner journey that the Pesach Seder offers us. Join Rabbi Marc and Michael as they de…
 
The transition from the Book of Exodus to Leviticus can feel abrupt in its move from dramatic narrative to bloody sacrifices. It is too easy to dismiss the details of these priestly rituals as alien relics of an ancient world. Dena Weiss, head of the Beit Midrash (House of Study) at Hadar in New York, in conversation with Rabbi Marc, shares insight…
 
The Book of Exodus closes with the vision of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) becoming manifest, being built and completed under the leadership of architect and builder-in-chief Betzalel. Moses has been the visionary and now needs the practical skills of the craftsmen. This relationship reminds us the importance of different skills and complimentary person…
 
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