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Sarah Rudolph

Sarah C. Rudolph is a Jewish educator and freelance writer. She has been sharing her passion for Jewish texts of all kinds for over 15 years, with students of all ages. Sarah's essays have been published in a variety of internet and print media, including Times of Israel, Kveller, Jewish Action, The Lehrhaus, TorahMusings, and more. Sarah lives in Cleveland with her husband and four children, but is privileged to learn online with students all over the world through www.TorahTutors.org and www.WebYeshiva.org She is also Editor-At-Large at Deracheha: womenandmitzvot.org.

Destruction, Repentance and Rebuilding

September 19, 2019, by

Every year, I’m struck by the way the themes of the month of Av seem to morph seamlessly into those of Elul. During the summer, we talk about the variety of sins blamed for the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash, and focus especially on reversing the sinat chinam, baseless hatred, that brought about the

Mourning in Moderation

July 31, 2019, by

One of the most poignant passages about the pain of the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash might also seem bizarre. Especially today, when we are so far removed from the Beit Hamikdash that we struggle to feel any sense of pain over its loss, it is hard to comprehend the intense spontaneous reaction the Gemara

The Power of a Bracha

June 12, 2019, by

One of the first mitzvot we teach our kids is to say brachot before – and as they get older, also after – eating. We train them to say the words, and hopefully also start instilling a concept of the meaning behind this mitzvah. Often, we tell them that eating without saying a bracha is

Building Relationships Through Torah Study

June 5, 2019, by

Last week, we discussed creating a relationship with Torah through its study. This relationship can be described as “ownership,” but it is an active, intimate type of ownership. We immerse our bodies and souls into the words on the page, lose sleep contemplating the ideas behind those words, and ultimately contribute to the eternal process

Shavuot: Claiming What’s Ours

May 29, 2019, by

As Shavuot approaches, it seems like a good time to think about our relationship with Torah, and our role in that relationship. At the beginning of chapter 3 in the Laws of Torah Study, Rambam writes: Israel was crowned with three crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship.

Words Matter

May 14, 2019, by

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who will say “It’s 12:37” and those who will round the time to 12:40 or even to 12:30. Often, the latter approach is fine. In many contexts, a few minutes – three, or even seven – won’t make a big difference. But I could never

Love and Hate for Our Fellow Jews

May 8, 2019, by

One of the most famous teachings in Pirkei Avot is Hillel’s admonition (1:12) to “be of the students of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace.” Sometimes we remember that’s not the end of the statement, and include “loving people” in our quotation – but I’m not sure how often we remember the end, “and bringing

Pride and Fear as a Jew in America, 2019

May 1, 2019, by

My first memory of being out and about as recognizably Jewish, different from those around me, is from my early days in day camp. The camp was run by the Jewish Community Center but the clientele was diverse, and I was very conscious of being the only kid – or some years, one of very

Take That Step

April 16, 2019, by

In deriving meaning from Torah, the most innocent-looking words can pack a big punch. Just think about how Nachum ish gam zu was able to find significance in the word “et” (Chagigah 12a). A beginning Hebrew student might be taught not to translate this word, that it carries no real meaning – yet if we

Egypt in Contrast

April 10, 2019, by

Often, it’s not really a good idea to inspire through contrast. For instance, “Oy, your older brother gives me such trouble; don’t be like him!” is probably not the best way to instill positive values and behavior. Another great example can be found in the old Berenstain Bears books, in which Papa Bear was portrayed