torah reading for the first day of rosh hashanah

Hagar and Avraham. Isaac and Ishmael. Hagar and Sarah. Our reading from the Torah introduces not only these pivotal and volatile relationships but also the themes of trust, jealousy, fear, hope, and redemption. Learn here with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, Sally Gottesman, Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, Khaled Abu Awwad, and more.


Banishment of Ishmael: A Talk with Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger and Khaled Abu Awwad

Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger is co-founder of Roots/Judur/Shorashim, a joint Palestinian-Israeli grassroots peacemaking initiative dedicated to understanding nonviolence and transformation, where he currently remains director of international relations. Khaled Abu Awwad is among the foremost figures in the Palestinian community working toward peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. He has been awarded the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the promotion of nonviolence and tolerance in 2011, and he was named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in 2010 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

Sally Gottesman

Sally Gottesman: Recusing Ourselves from Bone-Ignorance

Sally Gottesman has been a member of BJ for more than twenty-five years. She currently is the chair of Encounter, an educational organization committed to informed, courageous, and resilient Jewish communal leadership on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Prior to working with Encounter she was co-founder and chair of Moving Traditions. Thousands of teens across the country, including BJ teens, participate in Moving Traditions’s Rosh Hodesh and The Brotherhood programs. She happily lives a block away from BJ with her three children, Alice, Ezra, and Charlotte.

Danya Ruttenberg

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg: Why is Abraham Complicit in Cruelty?

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is an award-winning author and writer. She was named by Newsweek and the Daily Beast as one of ten “rabbis to watch” and by the Forward as one of the fifty most influential women rabbis, and Publishers Weekly called her a “wunderkind of Jewish feminism.”

Two animated people

People of the Book: Avraham and Ibrahim in Judaism and Islam

Abraham/Ibrahim is one of the most important figures in Judaism and Islam due to his devotion to God and moral standing. Come learn more about his unique personality according to the two religious traditions.

Judaism Unbound

Judaism Unbound Podcast with Lex Rofeberg and Dan Libenson

This Rosh Hashanah, Lex Rofeberg and Dan Libenson look at the four major biblical readings associated with the holiday. They ask how these texts can apply to twenty-first-century life, and they provide a variety of answers, including many that incorporate historical understandings of the Bible gleaned from biblical source criticism. In this episode, they tackle Genesis 21, which tells the story of Hagar and Ishmael’s banishment by Abraham and Sarah.

Nizahker Venikatev

Nizakher Venikatev: A Reflective Guide for Torah on the Frist Day of Rosh Hashanah

Have you been able to find healing in a family dynamic this year? Have you experienced rupture in those relationships? Where in your own close connections are you seeking reconciliation? Consider these questions and more as we explore the deeper themes of the Torah reading for the First Day of Rosh Hashanah.