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torah commentary
The seas speak of God’s justice
­ Parshat Noach Genesis 6:9-11:32 This Shabbat also marks Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan, the beginning of the one month in the Jewish calendar without any holidays at all. There is an interesting connec...
Oct 23, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Blessings for the miracles around us
Parshat Bereshit Genesis 1:1-6:8 Of all the Torah portions throughout the year, Bereshit is probably one of the most familiar ones in the Jewish community. And for this reason, we have heard many w...
Oct 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Approaching Yom Kippur, a thorough scrubbing for the New Year
Why does Rosh Hashanah precede Yom Kippur? You would think that if our sins were instantly forgiven on Yom Kippur, we would be in a better position on Rosh Hashanah to be inscribed for a new year o...
Oct 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Return again
Parshat Nitzavim/Vayelech Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Atah nitzavim, you are standing, all of you, this day before God. You, your leaders, and the most humble of the people.” So begins this week’s Tora...
Sep 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of ethical wills
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1-52 At the end of his life, Moses addresses us, the Israelites, for the last time in the Torah portion of Ha’azinu. He recounts the blessings that we have enjoyed a...
Sep 28, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Know it in your heart
Parsaht Ki Tavo Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 How long is a minute? When I was a child, my friends and I would test each other: Did we know how long a minute was? Of course we knew that a minute equaled 60...
Sep 09, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
‘Standing for something’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Sep 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 One of the most clever High Holy Day newspaper ads I ever saw was a display box that read, from top to bottom:  “Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Come sit ...
Some things are required, not desired
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Sep 06, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 This week’s Torah portion begins with the instructions for personal tithing. The “first fruits” of the harvest of ground vegetation (onions, garlic, lettuce, etc.) ar...
The mitzvot of kindness
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Aug 30, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tzeitzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 The world is built through kindness … — Psalm 89:3 Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  — Plato When I was young, I admired clever people....
Pursuing justice is harder than it sounds
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Aug 23, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
Shofetim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:19 If we had a top 10 list of popular teachings from Torah, the line from this week’s Torah portion would certainly qualify. It might even make the top five. In setti...
We cannot do as we please
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Aug 16, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Reeh Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 And God said in Deuteronomy 12:8, “You shall not continue to act as you have done so far, everyone doing what is right in her/his own sight.” But then how should we act...
Torah love is more action than feeling
by Rabbi Stephanie Wolfe, Beth Samuel Jewish Center
Aug 09, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:1 Do you remember your first love?  The one from high school or junior high whom you thought you would be with forever? For most of us, that story didn’t come true.  We learn as...
Deeply penetrating the heart
by Rabbi Ron Symons, Temple Sinai
Aug 02, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend
V’Etchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 I am writing these comments from a small faculty bedroom at the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Camp Harlam in the Poconos.  Harlam is one of 13 camps in the URJ ...
Love without reason trumps senseless hatred
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jul 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Last week, The Times of Israel published an article entitled, “Why I’m not fasting on Tisha B’Av this year.” The title arises out of the fact that this year, Tisha B’A...
Invisible realities
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs, UPMC Shadyside
Jul 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
If one were to choose among the greatest benefactors of humanity, Louis Pasteur would certainly rank at the top. He solved the mysteries of rabies, anthrax, chicken cholera and silkworm diseases, a...
Daughters of Zelophehad came before feminism
by Rabbi Martin William Shorr, Temple Hadar Israel
Jul 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 No need for coming that “long way baby,” G-d already got you there a long time ago. In recent times, more specifically the late 19th to the mid 20th century, women have ...