Author Archives: Rabbi Karen Perolman

Rabbi Karen Perolman

About Rabbi Karen Perolman

Rabbi Karen Perolman began working at B’nai Jeshurun in 2008 as a Rabbinic Intern. She was named an Assistant Rabbi in the spring of 2010. Rabbi Perolman received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Jewish Studies in 2004 from the University of Maryland at College Park. She later attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York where she received her Masters Degree in Hebrew Literature. She was ordained by HUC-JIR in 2010.

Parashat Be’Ha’alotecha: ‘Am’ (Yisrael) Comin’ Out!

Jews read sections of the Torah each week, and these sections, known as parshiyot, inspire endless examination year after year. Each week we will bring you regular essays examining these portions from a queer perspective, drawn from the book Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible and the Torah Queeries online collection. This week, Rabbi Karen Perolman examines the Israelites’ struggles with their “coming out” experiences.

Creative Common/doyoubleedlikeme

Creative Common/doyoubleedlikeme

Coming-out (of the closet): To be “in the closet” means to hide one’s sexual and or gender identity. Many GBLT people are “out” in some situations and “closeted” in others.
– from Kulanu: All of Us, URJ Press 2007

As first among our days of sacred days, it recalls the coming-out (Exodus) from Egypt.
– from Erev Shabbat Kiddush.

Although the entire story of the Exodus from Egypt can be read as the Israelites’ coming-out story, the exact moment of coming-out occurs when the Israelites finally open the door to the closet and step out into what is literally new land, land that was newly exposed, and formerly under cover of water. In Exodus 14:21, God splits the Red Sea through the hand of Moses and the people walk on dry land toward redemption. Continue reading

Posted on May 20, 2013

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