On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah

On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah, a podcast presented by Each week, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union For Reform Judaism, will offer divrei Torah (insights into the weekly Torah portion) to help open up Jewish thought and its contemporary influence on your life. He condenses 2,000 years of Jewish wisdom into just 10 minutes of modern-day commentary. There are plenty of ways to interpret Torah and we want to hear what you think. You can weigh in on this week’s Torah portion by talking to us on Twitter @URJ or at
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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 24, 2017

Parashiyot Tazria and M’tzora are perhaps the most nerve inducing parashiyot in many Jewish circles, and it makes sense—most people aren’t typically eager to discuss leprosy. But if we know that illness can often be seen as a metaphor in Jewish tradition as punishment for sin, what is this case of leprosy actually about? Listen to Rabbi Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, explain why he thinks Parashiyot Tazria and M’tzora should transcend the dread.

Apr 13, 2017
In Parashat Sh’mini, while we learn the laws that distinguish which animals are and are not kosher, we do not learn the rationale behind kashrut. Because of this, there is a lot of misinformation spread around why certain animals are deemed unsuitable to eat. Does kashrut exist because of cleanliness, practicality, or something else? Listen to this episode of On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah, to find out.
Apr 10, 2017

In this special Passover episode of On the Other Hand, Rabbi Jacobs discusses empathy. The story of Passover asks that we put ourselves in the shoes of those who escaped slavery and travelled to freedom, and that we think about what it’s like to have nothing. But this year, it isn’t enough to discuss this type of tragedy as a thing of the past. Find out why Rabbi Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, thinks that this seder should be different from other sedarim in this week’s episode of On the Other Hand.

Apr 3, 2017

Parashat Tzav opens with a command to Aaron, the high priest. It’s a moment to think about leadership – who are our leaders and what do they do? Are our leaders born into the role, like Aaron, or are they called to leadership, like Moses? Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, discusses what it means to be a leader, and who among us should take a leadership role (spoiler alert: it’s all of us!)