When the master narratives that guide our lives inevitably crash, how should we respond? Rabbi Benay Lappe asserts that there are three options: cling to the story as though nothing happened, discard it altoget... her, or integrate the old with the new and adapt. Arguing for the unique foresight of queer and marginalized perspectives in bringing the future of Judaism into being, Rabbi Lappe demonstrates how Talmud provides a blueprint for innovation and choosing option three.See lessSee more
The Rest is Commentary
"I don't think the students who come to SVARA are coming primarily to learn Talmud-they're not sitting at home, wishing they could learn Talmud-they are wishing that they could fall in love with the Jewish Tradition. And SVARA offers them that: They find a tradition that is smart, bold, courageous.
Scenario 1. The year is 2050. Jews have left Europe. So dangerous did it become to wear signs of Jewishness or express support for Israel in public that Jews quietly decided to leave. A hundred years after the Holocaust, Europe became Judenrein after all.
It was June 26, 2003 - the day the Supreme Court overturned the sodomy laws - that Benay (JTS, '97) first thought about founding SVARA, now a unique, thriving, traditionally radical yeshiva in Chicago dedicated to the serious study of Talmud. That decision was 13 years ago and the world has changed a lot since then.
Rosh Yeshiva | SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva
Rabbi Benay Lappe is Founder and Rosh Yeshiva of SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva. She holds a BA in Italian Literature and an MA in Teaching from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MA in Hebrew Letters from the University of Judaism, and an MA in Rabbinic Literature and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. An award-winning educator specializing in the application of queer theory to Talmud study, she has served on the faculties of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Temple University, The University of Judaism, The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, The Graduate Theological Union's Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, Milken Community High School, and The Wexner Institute. Rabbi Lappe also currently serves as Director of Education at the Institute for the Next Jewish Future, and is an Associate at CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, where she was appointed by The Righteous Person's Foundation as its first Spielberg Fellow. In 2016, Rabbi Lappe was awarded the Covenant Award for innovation in Jewish education by the Covenant Foundation.