Adina Gerver

Adina Gerver

Adina Gerver is a graduate student at New York University, pursuing an MPA in non-profit management and an MA in Judaic Studies, while working as a freelance writer/editor and consultant for Jewish non-profits. She studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem after graduating from the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA. After receiving her B.A. in history and women’s studies from Harvard College, she worked in Jewish education for five years and then studied at Yeshivat Hadar, the Pardes Institute, the Conservative Yeshiva, and the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. She received teacher-training through Kevah in Berkeley, CA. Adina can be reached at gerver@gmail.com.

Chukat-Balak

The strange story of Bilam, his talking donkey and the blessings he bestowed on Israel is recounted in Parshat Balak.[1] After the Israelites successfully defended themselves against the attacking Amorites, the Moabite king, Balak, asked Bilam to curse the Israelites in order to weaken them. Following several rounds of negotiations with Balak’s representatives and with …Read More

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Behar-Bechukotai

In Parshat Behar, the Torah requires residents of the Land of Israel to desist from planting, harvesting, or pruning during shmittah, the sabbatical year.[1] The Torah itself anticipates the extreme hardship inherent in these laws and promises to mitigate it: “[S]hould you ask, ‘What are we to eat in the seventh year, if we may …Read More

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Behar-Bechukotai

In Parshat Behar, the Torah requires residents of the Land of Israel to desist from planting, harvesting, or pruning during shmittah, the sabbatical year.[1] The Torah itself anticipates the extreme hardship inherent in these laws and promises to mitigate it: “[S]hould you ask, ‘What are we to eat in the seventh year, if we may …Read More

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Shmini

Parshat Shmini juxtaposes two sacrifices, both offered to God by Israelites in the desert and both summoning Divine fire, but with tragically different consequences. The first series of sacrifices was offered by Aaron and his sons and was rewarded: “the Presence of the Lord appeared to all the people” and “[f]ire came forth from before …Read More

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Tetzaveh

Thinking about Parshat Tetzaveh during President Barack Obama’s first week in office created some internal dissonance for me. Watching the inauguration live in a bar in downtown Jerusalem made me feel proud to be from a country where an intelligent person from a relatively modest background can, through hard work, become the democratically-elected leader of …Read More

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Bo

Although the plagues that God rains down upon Pharaoh and all of the Egyptians in Parshat Vaera and Parshat Bo seem almost grotesquely farcical in their nature—blood? frogs? fiery hail?—they raise complex and nuanced questions about collective punishment and collective responsibility. They seem, from the outset, to be a form of collective punishment that is …Read More

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Miketz

Adina Gerver dedicates this Dvar Tzedek to the memory of Shira Palmer-Sherman. Like Joseph, Shira was a dreamer of dreams who did not shy away from taking an active role in making the world a better place. Joseph is a visionary; a man with a powerful capacity for imagining a future entirely unlike the reality …Read More

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Chayei Sarah

When read with modern sensibilities, Bereshit 24 is a traditional tale about a man who travels to a far-off land to find a woman to marry his master’s son. Imagine that you are that woman, going about your daily chores when a strange man approaches you. He gazes at you for a bit,[1] and finding …Read More

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