Rabbi Daniel Goldfarb

About Rabbi Daniel Goldfarb

Rabbi Daniel C. Goldfarb is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School and received his M.H.L. and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He worked for 25 years as an attorney for Israel’s Ministries of Justice and Finance and in private practice in Jerusalem before joining the Yeshiva in 2000. He teaches Liturgy and Pirkei Avot. Rabbi Goldfarb served as director of the Conservative Yeshiva from 2000-2013.

Rabbi Daniel Goldfarb

Tu BiShvat – How Green is our Judaism?

CY Tu Bishvat SOURCE SHEET (pdf)
CY Tu Bishvat E-Shiur  (pdf)

The 15th of the month of Shvat, Tu BiShvat, has enjoyed a real growth in popularity in recent generations.  It is probably “celebrated” on a wider scale today than ever before.  Jews all over the world, many totally secular, will eat a variety of fruits and nuts, 15 if possible, or even take part in Tu BiShvat Seders.  Every Jewish child in Israel has a Tu BiShvat program at school.  The Jewish National Fund arranges for tens of thousands of saplings to be planted in Tu BiShvat activities every year.

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Passover: Seder Learning Activity

Going from Observer to Participant – A Rest Stop on the Exodus from Egypt

The Torah tells us that Am Yisrael left Egypt in a rush (“b’chipazon”, Deut 16:3).  One way Lel HaSeder recalls the Exodus is that it, too, is often rushed.  This is a short text study which can provide a pause en route, “food for thought,” to stimulate deeper engagement with the Haggadah than the typically hurried recitation allows.  It can be done in pairs (chevruta style) or by all together.  3-5 minutes, then “back to the journey.”

Going from Observer to Participant (pdf)

Passover: Freedom – a Gift and a Task

Jews are commanded in two mitsvot concerning recalling the exodus from Egypt. We are commanded to mention it every day, and we are commanded to recount the story on the night of the fifteenth of Nisan.  For the daily mitsvah, a mere mention to oneself is sufficient; for the night of the seder one is supposed to tell the story in detail to someone else, and to recite special praise (Hallel) at its conclusion.  Hence the shape of the seder – the story is told in response to the four questions and concludes with Hallel.  Peoples of many traditions celebrate the day they gained freedom, but not many include in their celebrations communal consideration of what it means to be free.  Fulfillment of the mitsvah to recount the exodus on the fifteenth of Nisan requires some description of the condition of the Israelites prior to acquiring their freedom. We are called upon to recall what servitude is like, its hardships and despair.  After we have told each other the story in this way, we sing G-d’s praises (see Mishnah Pesachim 10:4-5).

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Passover: Birkhat HaChama

On Wednesday, April 8, 2009, the Jewish world celebrated not only Leil HaSeder, but also Birkhat HaChama (the Blessing of the Sun).  This ritual is done every 28 years, to mark the return of the sun and the earth to their original alignment (time and day) as it was at Creation.  The spring of Year 5769 marks the 206th completion of this solar cycle and the start of the 207th.

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