David Singer

Rabbi David Singer

Rabbi David Singer is the Director of Hillel of San Diego at UCSD. Previously, he was the Founding Director of Makom, a young spiritual community in Dallas, TX. Named by The Jewish Daily Forward as one of American’s Most Inspiring Rabbis, David is a graduate of Clal, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership’s Clergy Leadership Incubator and a member of Rabbis Without Borders. David graduated from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles in 2012. David can be reached at dsinger@hillelsd.org.

Bamidbar

In his 2012 Dvar Tzedek, Rabbi David Singer writes about the census of the Israelites in Parashat Bamidbar. A midrash on the parashah explains that God counts the Israelites as if they were jewels in his possession, periodically checking them to ensure they are safe. For Singer—and other contemporary commentators—“the poignancy” [of this midrash] “is marred by the fact that the census accounts for only 600,000 adult men; so evidently missing from the ‘lovingly counted jewels’ is fifty percent of the population—its women.” While there are historical reasons for women’s absence from the Torah’s census, Singer notes that “rationalizing women’s exclusion…cannot erase the uncomfortable value judgement on women’s worth… nor does it justify the perpetuation of this exclusion in societies today.”

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Toldot

Esau is a character derided by the Jewish tradition. Depicted as a brute, unintelligent and powerful man of the field, Esau is often seen as the opposite of the rabbinic ideal: his twin brother Jacob. Yet Parashat Toldot suggests that we not be so quick to dismiss him. Esau’s experience, after all, may very well mirror our own.

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Ha’azinu

The Torah’s five books end with one last passionate plea from the Israelites’ leader. As Moses concludes his instructions to the people, preparing them to enter the Land of Israel, he emphasizes that they must “teach the words with which I charge you upon your children, that they may observe faithfully all the terms of this teaching. For this is not a trivial thing for you: it is your very life; through it you shall long endure…” Moses begs his people to raise their children according to the same values and laws to which they themselves are dedicated.

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Eikev

In Parashat Eikev, Moses offers the Israelites one of the most moving and persuasive encouragements toward Divine service found in the entire Torah. As they stand on the edge of the Jordan, they are reminded that Divine service demands walking in the path of God.

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Ha’azinu

The Torah’s five books end with one last passionate plea from the Israelites’ leader. As Moses concludes his instructions to the people, preparing them to enter the Land of Israel, he emphasizes that they must “teach the words with which I charge you upon your children, that they may observe faithfully all the terms of …Read More

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Eikev

In Parashat Eikev, Moses offers the Israelites one of the most moving and persuasive encouragements toward Divine service found in the entire Torah. As they stand on the edge of the Jordan, they are reminded that Divine service demands walking in the path of God: “And now, O Israel, what does Adonai your God demand …Read More

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Chukkat

The pursuit of global justice can often feel like a desert trek, with no oasis or end in sight. We work tirelessly toward our goals without certainty that we will reach them in our lifetimes. Sometimes, the never-ending struggle without reward overwhelms us. We may express anger, lash out or attempt to give up. Yet …Read More

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Bamidbar

In the beginning of the book of Bamidbar, Moses is instructed to call together all of the Israelites in the wilderness in order to undertake a census of the people. Midrash Bamidbar Rabbah explains the significance of this census by way of a parable about a man who has a box filled with jewels.[1] From …Read More

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Vayikra

The book of Leviticus begins with a call. The first word of this section of Torah, from which it gets its Hebrew name—vayikra—describes God calling out to Moses, inviting the prophet to enter in to the Tent of Meeting, the space in which Moses is able to communicate with God and exercise his role as …Read More

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Vayechi

Following the burial of their father Jacob in Parshat Vayechi, Joseph’s brothers worry aloud: “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us!?”[1] Despite the good grace Joseph had shown them upon their reunification, the debt they owe him for having sold him into slavery so many years prior still lingers. The eleven brothers feel …Read More

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