Author Archives: Rabbi Ben Greenberg

Rabbi Ben Greenberg

About Rabbi Ben Greenberg

Rabbi Ben Greenberg is the Senior Rabbi of BMH-BJ Congregation. Previously, Rabbi Greenberg served as the Orthodox Jewish Chaplain of Harvard University and the Orthodox Rabbi of Harvard Hillel. He served on the Executive Committee of the Harvard Chaplains and was the Vice President for Chaplain Programming. Rabbi Greenberg has served synagogues in Teaneck, New Jersey and Riverdale, New York. He has held fellowships with organizations such as The HealthCare Chaplaincy, The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and CLAL: The National Center for Jewish Learning and Leadership. He also completed a 400-hour rotation in hospital chaplaincy at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Medical Center in Manhattan working in the neurological critical care unit. Rabbi Greenberg is the author of two books, Covenantal Promise and Destiny: Wisdom for Life (Lulu, 2010) and Twitter Torah (Lulu, 2009) as well as popular media and scholarly articles for online and print publications and maintains a regular blog at

Living Inclusion: Why our Orthodox Synagogue Hosted an LGBT Training Institute

Judaism is the great religion of welcome. The root of our faith is modeled on the actions of our forefathers and foremothers who set the groundwork for the foundational nature of Jewish life. Abraham, the archetype for all future Jewish generations, was fundamentally a person of chesed, kindness. One of the enduring images we have of Abraham is the picture of his tent open from all sides ushering and welcoming in visitors even when he was physically not well. Abraham though imparted to us not only the value of welcoming but instructed us on how to implement it.

Creative Commons/Alexandre Baron

Creative Commons/Alexandre Baron

The Torah shares with us the lengths to which Abraham went to make his visitors feel at home and indeed to transform the relationship of host-visitor into one of equal partnership and respect. Genesis 18:1-8 records Abraham insisting that his three unexpected visitors stay for a while and the subsequent rush that he and his household underwent to prepare an elaborate meal for them. It was Abraham’s intent to make his home, which was the model for the way of life he was introducing to the world, maximally inclusive and welcoming. Continue reading

Posted on January 18, 2013

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