Torah Sparks

United Synagogue (USCJ) is proud and delighted to bring you Torah Sparks, with insights and learning materials on the Parasha (Torah portion) of the week. Torah Sparks is produced by the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Each week there will be a Dvar Torah - a discussion on some aspect of the reading, by CY faculty, alumni and friends; a Vort - a short thought from Chasidic rebbes or other thinkers about some point in the text; and Table Talk - questions to stimulate discussion on the Parsha around the Shabbat table. Torah Sparks is available here on the Conservative Yeshiva's Shiurim Online Beit Midrash website, as well as by subscription to weekly graphical emails. Please select the Parasha you would like to see - it will display articles from each year. A printable PDF is linked at the end of each week's presentation.

Shoshana Cohen

About Shoshana Cohen

Shoshana Cohen is a fellow at the Hartman Institute's Seder Nashim Beit Midrash for Gender and Judaism where she also completed the Melamdim Educator's program. Shoshana is a graduate student at Hebrew University in Ancient Jewish History, with a BA from Brandeis University in Judaic Studies. She has also studied Talmud at Midreshet Lindenbaum and Matan's Advanced Talmud Institute and was one of the founding faculty members of Yeshivat Hadar in New York, where she taught for two summers. She teaches Tanach and Women and Halacha at the Conservative Yeshiva. Midrash, Chumash with Rashi and Gender and Judaism.

Shoshana Cohen

Hanukkah: Will the Real Hanukkah Please Stand Up?

According to popular Jewish tradition on the 25th of Kislev the Maccabees defeated the evil Greeks and rededicated the defiled temple.  Hanukkah celebrates not only the military victory but also a spiritual one, of good over evil, of light over darkness. Several non-Rabbinic sources (I&II Maccabees and Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews) tell the Hanukkah […]

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Celebrating Yom Ha’Atzmaut

There is no ancient festival that explicitly commemorates the entrance of the Jewish people into the land of Israel.

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Gender and Judaism

This class will be an exploration of the points at which feminism meets traditional Judaism. We will touch on a range of topics including halacha, Biblical and Rabbinic studies, theology through the distinct and overlapping prisms of traditional textual analysis and feminist theory. We will examine traditional sources for explicit and implicit concepts and biases about gender. In discussion, we will explore the extent to which these traditional concepts apply in our contemporary lives and how they impact our sense of Judaism, the world and ourselves.

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