Ra’u Or

Essays in Honor of Dr. Ora Horn Prouser

by Joseph Prouser, editor

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Esau's Blessing

“Essential reading for educators, parents, and students of Bible.”
Edward L. Greenstein, director of the Institute for Jewish Biblical Interpretation of Bar-Ilan University

“Opens our eyes to the special needs figures of old whom we come to know and love in the Bible, helping us to embrace and to see with clearer vision the special needs children and adults who deserve our respect and our attention today.”
Bradley Shavit Artson, author, The Everyday Torah

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About this book

A collection of scholarly essays in celebration of Dr. Ora Horn Prouser on her 60th birthday. Dr. Prouser is CEO and Academic Dean at The Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical, cantorial and graduate school. She has worked with educational institutions to develop Bible curricula and pedagogical materials for all levels and learning styles. Her book, Esau’s Blessing: How the Bible Embraces Those with Special Needs was recognized as a National Jewish Book Council finalist.

From Ra’u Or:

“We lift up the outstanding career of our colleague, friend, mentor, and teacher, Ora Horn Prouser, and offer our blessings for her continued inspired leadership in the years to come.”

—Chancellor Shuly Schwartz

“The study of pre-biblical myth and epic is essential for tracing the development of biblical literature. However, I, as a scholar of the pre-biblical material, am not interested in it solely for its role in the evolution of the Hebrew Bible. I, like some others, seek and find meaning in the pre-biblical and extra-biblical material as well.”

—Prof. Edward L. Greenstein

“The truth of the matter is this. The power of right and great dreams is never dependent on where you rest your head. Where you rest your head is never as important as where you place your heart. The dreams that touch our hearts move our souls to action.”

—Rabbi Peter E. Hyman

“We Jews have various ways of explaining how God enters our lives…. When we work to bring about change on big issues in small places we are doing what is godly.”

—Rabbi Dr. Nancy Fuchs Kreimer

“To imagine difference as desirable, rather than distraction, transforms the way I engage the other. It changes my posture toward the unfamiliar and opens me to the possibility of something greater…. Perhaps, then, pluralism is necessary, not only because it enriches life, but because it is most like the Divine and so is closest to the created order.”

—Rev. Dr. Barbara Horkoff Mutch

“We must thank God Who Dwells on High, who has bestowed upon us the great privilege of this light of Torah – Ora Zo Shel Torah.”

—Rabbi Moshe Yaakov Mendelowitz

Table of Contents

Editor’s Introduction
Joseph H. Prouser

Your Mother’s Torah (Proverbs 1:8)
Ayal Prouser, Eitan Prouser, Shira & Avi Kravitz

Ora Zo Shel Torah: This Light of Torah
A Tribute from Rabbi Moshe Yaakov Mendelowitz

Ora Horn Prouser—A Tribute
Shuly Rubin Schwartz

All Shall Be Seen Before Me:
Halakhah Mandates Inclusion & Dignity for those with Special Needs
Bradley Shavit Artson

Triage in the Time of a Pandemic:
The Sanctity of Saving as Many Lives as Possible
Elliot N. Dorff

Moses as Leader in the Eyes of the Tannaim
Matthew Goldstone

May Women Serve as Mohalot?
David Golinkin

The Story of the Story as the Focus of Engagement
Edward L. Greenstein

The Free Exercise Clause and the Challenge to a Civil Society
Debra E. Guston

The Wonder of Trees: Musings in Honor of Tu B’Shevat
Jill Hackell

The Witch of En-dor: Tending the Spring of Generations
Jill Hammer

A Rabbi Muses About “Entering the Zone”
at Grateful Dead Concerts and at Synagogue Worship Services
Jeff Hoffman

How Do You Sleep?
A Sermon for Martin Luther King Day
Peter E. Hyman

Light and Peace in Our Daily Liturgical Declarations
Michael Kasper

Large Issues in Small Spaces:
What Jews Can Learn from Christians about Public Theology
Nancy Fuchs Kreimer

Why Did He Die at Half His Days?
The Torah Student Who Wouldn’t Touch His Wife
Dov Linzer

These Words—A Letter to Ora
Barbara Horkoff Mutch

The Day of the Lord and the Book of Esther
Joseph H. Prouser

The Politics of Kashrut: Preliminary Observations
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Finding the Button and the Buttonhole
Eric George Tosi

A TOrah Line
Amy Roth

Selected Bibliography: Dr. Ora Horn Prouser