Wilderness Torah provides thought leadership at the cutting-edge of the movement to remember and reconnect to Judaism’s ancient earth-based roots.

Below are thought pieces about the earth-based Judaism movement, commentary on the weekly Torah portion and Jewish holidays, and teachings about the innovative work of Wilderness Torah to reconnect Jewish culture to its indigenous roots.


Enjoy these teachings and please email us your comments.

Embrace the Rainbow: A Call to Peace and Love in a Broken World

by Maggid Zelig Golden

3 Cheshvan 5776 | October 16, 2015

In Noah, last week’s parsha (Torah portion), the flood destroys a corrupt world. When the waters subside Noah sends out a

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Elul: Preparing for the Choice of Life

by Maggid Zelig Golden

29 Av 5775 | August 14, 2015

In the twenty-nine days leading to Rosh Hashanah, we are invited to fully listen to the welcomed blessings, as well as

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Hakhel: Sukkot Tribe Gathering for Next Seven Years

by Maggid Zelig Golden
25 Elul 5775 | September 8, 2015

In just five days shofars will sound 100 times all around the world, calling in the New Year with

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How Small Choices Can Have Big Impacts

by Marina Sherman
B’naiture 2012-2014 graduate
B’hootz Teen Mentor 2014-present

19 Sivan 5775 | June 5, 2015

Shabbat Shalom.

This week’s Torah portion, Shelach Lecha, includes the famous story of the 12 spies sent

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Righteous Rebellion

by Maggid Zelig Golden

6 Tamuz 5775 | June 23, 2015

In the wake of darkness in Charleston and as we remember the brilliant lights at the recent passing of Rabbi Bonna

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Shavuot: Festival of First Fruits

by Maggid Zelig Golden

29 Iyyar 5775 | May 18, 2015

Chag Sameach Shavuot – Happy Festival of Weeks!

Today we are nearing the finale of counting the omer – the potent cycle of

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Tu B‘Shvat: The Beginning of Liberation

by Maggid Zelig Golden
8 Sh’vat 5775 | January 27, 2015

As Ecclesiastes explains, “For everything, there is a season” (Ecc. 3:1). Pause and take a look outside. Look closely at the

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Chanukah Light of Redemption

by Maggid Zelig Golden
26 Kislev 5775 | December 18, 2014

In recent weeks we have witnessed fires of protest burning in the streets of Ferguson, East Jerusalem, and close to home

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Three Approaches to California’s Drought

by Suzannah Sosman
19 Cheshvan 5775 | November 12, 2014

At Sukkot on the Farm this year, our theme was “Shmita: Elements in Balance.” With California facing extreme drought, this theme resonated deeply. Elements

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Shmita: Shabbat for the Land

by Maggid Zelig Golden
22 Elul 5775 | September 17, 2014

Greetings from Jerusalem!

I have been here nearly two months and after an intense summer, I am grateful for the calm that has

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Commemorating Tisha B’Av

by Maggid Zelig Golden
10 Av 5774 | August 6, 2014

Yesterday was Tisha B’Av, the ninth of the Hebrew month Av, a festival and fast day commemorating the destruction of our ancient

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Countering the Effects of Nature Deficit Disorder

by Sarai Shapiro
11 Tamuz 5774 | July 9, 2014

When’s the last time you…

played hide and seek in the woods
listened to the call of the birds
followed a deer trail to its

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Carrying Reb Zalman’s ztz”l Legacy Forward

Heart Open, Earth Connected
by Maggid Zelig Golden
6 Tamuz 5774 | July 4, 2014

I join my teachers, friends, and colleagues from across the Jewish world to share the news of the

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Raising Wise Humans

Learning from the Garden of Eden
by Sarai Shapiro, Wilderness Torah Youth Programs Director
5 Adar I 5774 | February 5, 2014

How have you truly learned, grown, and gained wisdom in your

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Exodus: A Call to the Wilderness

by Jared Gellert
2 Shvat 5774 | January 3, 2014

We recently began reading the book of Exodus, the interwoven story of how we became a people with a specific religious orientation.

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Rededicating Our Sacred Fire

by Maggid Zelig Golden
30 Kislev 5774 | December 3, 2013

Hanukkah, which means “rededication,” commemorates the Maccabee army’s military victory against the Syrian empire, which had nearly defeated the Jews and

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Rowan’s Encounter with God

by Rowan Gould-Bayba, B’naiture 2011–13 graduate
6 Kislev 5774 | November 9, 2013

This drash (teaching) starts with a cold dark night. I had just turned 13, and was challenged to go

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Abraham’s Oaks: Portal to the Divine

by Maggid Zelig Golden
13 Cheshvan 5774 | October 17, 2013

Jon Young offered a stirring perspective during his address at Sukkot on the Farm this fall — the power of nature

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Jon Young Conversation with Zelig Golden & Rachel Ruch

by Jon Young, Zelig Golden, Rachel Ruch & Sukkot on the Farm Community
17 Tishrei 5774 | September 21, 2013

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Honoring the Waters: A Critical Sukkot Tikkun

by Maggid Zelig Golden
13 Tishrei 5774 | September 17, 2013

We have passed through the gates of Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur. For each of us I pray that we are

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Tishrei: New Beginnings for Us and for the World

by Maggid Zelig Golden
September 3, 2013 | 28 Elul 5773

L’shana Tova! (A good year!)

Tomorrow we pass through the gate of the first day of Tishrei, Rosh Hoshana, the head of

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A Critical Time for Jewish Youth: Rethinking the Bar and Bat Mitzvah

by Sarai Shapiro & Zelig Golden
August 16, 2013 | 10 Elul 5773

Again and again, we’re seeing the bar and bat mitzvah fail to address the urgent needs teens face today.

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Putting B’nai Mitzvah Back Where it Belongs: In Nature

by Maggid Zelig Golden
August 8, 2013 | 2 Elul 5773

While often providing a meaningful initiation into Judaism, today’s b’nai mitzvah experience does not meet the urgent needs of many teens,

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The Jewish Medicine Wheel

by Sarai Shapiro | 10th of Tevet 5771
17th of December, 2010 | Originally published in ZEEK

In my mid-twenties, I was drawn to live at a Jewish Retreat center in

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Reconnecting to Our Earth-Based Roots

by Zelig Golden | 20th Tevet 5771
December 27, 2010 | Originally published in PresenTense

Our contemporary society has become radically disconnected from nature. Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the

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The Threshold of the Promise Land: Parsha Mase’ei

by Zelig Golden

3 Av 5768 | August 4, 2008

During this Shabbat of Parsha Mase’ei we celebrate Rosh Chodesh Av (The new moon of Av) and we confront a great paradox.

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God Fills the Entire World: Parsha Pekudei

Zelig Golden
2 Ayar 5768 | May 7, 2008

In parsha Pekudei, the Torah sums up the intricate details of God’s instructions for building the Mishkan, the tabernacle or temporary sanctuary

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Hearing God’s Word: Parsha Tetsavveh & Ti Kissa

by Zelig Golden
9 Adar 5768 | February 15, 2008

In this week’s parsha Tetsavveh, Moses stands alone on the Holy Mount Sinai – for forty days and forty nights –

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The Plagues of Exodus – Call To Transformation: Parsha Va-Era

by Zelig Golden
26 Tevet 5768 | January 4, 2008

In this week’s parsha Va-Era, Moses becomes the emissary of G-d in fomenting the Exodus from Egypt with the first seven

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