Author: Ilana Kurshan

  • Ilana Kurshan teaches Talmud at the CY. She is the author of If All the Seas Were Ink (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) and Why is This Night Different From All Other Nights (Schocken, 2005). She has a degree in History of Science from Harvard and in English literature from Cambridge, and has worked in literary publishing both in New York and in Jerusalem – as a translator, a foreign rights agent, and as the Books Editor of Lilith Magazine. Since October 2020, Ilana has been a regular contributor to Torah Sparks, FJC’s weekly parashat hashavuah blog.

Read posts by Ilana Kurshan

A Spiritual Excercise

A Spiritual Excercise

After leaving his father’s home, Jacob dreams of God and experiences prayer for the first time. Learn about living in dialogue with God.

The Blinding of Isaac A Blessing in Disguise

The Blinding of Isaac: A Blessing in Disguise

In Toldot, Isaac, now the family patriarch, bestows the blessing of the firstborn on Jacob instead of Esau, when Jacob tricks him.

A Crown of Glory

A Crown of Glory

Parashat Chayei Sarah describes the final years of Abraham’s life, following the death of his wife Sarah and culminating in Abraham’s own death.

When Mercy Seasons Justice

When Mercy Seasons Justice

Parashat Vayera is about a tense and dramatic conversation between God and Abraham about the destruction of Sodom.

Men Count the Stars, Women are From Venus

Parashat Lech Lecha depicts an acute marital crisis between Abraham and Sarah that occurs at a particularly difficult moment in their lives.

A Trail of Crumpled Papers on the Floor

A Trail of Crumpled Papers on the Floor

We learn in Parashat Noach: God comes to appreciate, the problem was not creating human beings, but having unrealistic expectations of them.

the moon is always female

The Moon is Always Female

In the beginning, according to God’s original plan, the Sun and the Moon were two who ruled alongside one another. What happened?