Author: SusanSchwam

The Kindness of Our Hearts

This year, National Random Acts of Kindness week leads up to one of my favorite Torah readings, Terumah. Teruma means “gift,” or “donation.” As the Israelites are traveling in the wilderness of Sinai, they’re...

Dissenting: SCOTUS and the Talmud

On January 5th, I marked one year of Daf Yomi, the practice of studying one page of Talmud per day, every day. Now before you get overly impressed, keep in mind that I often...

Lighting Up The Darkness

Lighting Up The Darkness

Darkness and light are motifs that have been around since, well, the beginning. Coming as it does at the darkest time of the year in the northern hemisphere, Hanukkah–the Festival of Lights–acknowledges the very...

My Grandmother’s Diamond

This week’s Torah reading–Toledot–contains the famous story of Isaac “unknowingly” bestowing his blessing for Esau on Jacob. The text tells us that “Isaac was old, and his eyes were too weak to see,” so...

What We Can Learn From Mrs. Noah

This week we read Parashat Noah, the second weekly reading in the Torah, and it opens with God telling Noah to build an ark, gather his family and two of each animal, before the...

Dying to Live Our Best Life

It could be said that our patriarch, Jacob, was the first person to create an ethical will, essentially, a spiritual bequest to his heirs. In this week’s Torah reading, Vayechi, which means, “and he–meaning...