Our guest this week is Rabbi Andrea London, Senior Rabbi of the Beth Emet synagogue in Evanston, Illinois. Rabbi London holds a degree in applied mathematics from Brown University and worked as a management consultant before becoming a rabbi. She received her ordination in 1996 from the Hebrew Union College in New York and served as assistant rabbi at Temple Israel in Minneapolis from 1996 to 2000. Rabbi London arrived in Beth Emet in 2000 and became its senior rabbi in 2010. She holds several national leadership positions within the Reform Movement. She serves on the President’s Rabbinic Council of the Hebrew Union College and is a member of the Rabbinic Leadership Team of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Just Congregations initiative. She is also a member of the team that is rewriting the CCAR Rabbi’s Manual for Reform rabbis.
This Week's Torah Portion – Parashat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20) – is the first portion read from the book of Numbers. The Parasha tells us about an elaborate census of the tribes of Israel conducted by Moses in the desert and continues to discuss the priests' ceremonial duties. Our talk focuses on the curious traditional prohibition against counting Jews and on the meaning behind it.
If you would like to learn some more about parashat Bamidbar, check out our conversation with Rabbi Eric Yoffie.