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torah commentary
You changed my sackcloth into robes of joy
For more than half my lifetime I have done my best to help victims of violent crimes in their struggle to recover. I have counseled rape, murder, terrorist and abuse victims spiritually, emotionall...
Apr 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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New moon, new months
Tazria Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The first Passover Seder is nearly upon us. How do we know? No need to look at the calendar; go outside and look at the moon. As our ancestors did, we too can look at the...
Mar 27, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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That last bite of matzah has a special message
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The countdown to Passover is on. With that in mind, what will we do this year to make Passover less about food — especially decadent chocolate cakes preceded by a multi...
Mar 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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The Purim paradox: Now more than ever
Shabbat Zachor, Leviticus 6:1-8:36 One of my rabbis in seminary told this story: While serving as an Army chaplain, a soldier professed to him, “I believe every word in the Bible!” The rabbi replie...
Mar 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Little alephs need our help
Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26 In this week’s parshah, which is the beginning of the book of Leviticus, we have something very unusual in the Torah scroll.  The first word, Vayikra, which means “And H...
Mar 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Holy housewarming can strengthen community
Suppose you fell in love, and wanted your beloved to move in with you.  You would probably arrange the residence exactly the way s/he likes it, with the furniture positioned and the tchotchkes depl...
Feb 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
‘Yitro Phenomenon’ is still with us
Behalotecha, Numbers 8:1-12:16
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
New Light Congregation
Jun 10, 2011 | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
“I have always believed I was Jewish,” Cathy said. This was her real reason for converting to Judaism, she confided to me. Though her ancestors came many generations ago from Sweden, she believed t...
Priestly blessing a reminder of 'shaddai,' 'shalom' Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Jun 02, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Brought to You by the Letter ”Shin” (with thanks to the sofer Neil Yerman). Probably one of the best-known blessings comes from this Shabbat’s Torah portion: “May the Lord bless you and keep you. M...
Numbered or Innumerable? Bemidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20
by Rabbi Jamie Gibson, Temple Sinai
May 26, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
In this week’s parasha, Bemidbar, a census is called for to divide the Israelites up into their tribes and fighting units. The numbers are carefully counted, except for the Levites, who will not be...
Different ways to give, Parashat Behukotai, Leviticus 26:3-27:34
by Rabbi Art Donsky, Temple Ohav Shalom
May 23, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
In the final chapter of Sefer Vayikra (Leviticus) in Parashat Behukotai we are presented with a description of three types of gifts that can be given for the sanctuary. The first type of gift is gi...
Jubilee reminds us we’re equal
Behar, Leviticus 25:1 — 26:2
by Rabbi Stephanie Wolfe
Beth Samuel Jewish Center
May 12, 2011 | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
This week’s Parsha, behar, teaches us about the shmitah and Jubilee years for the Israelites. In the initial descriptions, these laws apply to the land and how we must give the land a rest every se...
G-O-D spells 'God'
Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Beth El Congregation
May 05, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Not “G-d.” At least for me. Yes, when I was younger and attended yeshiva in Detroit, it was “G-d.” God was also “Hashem,” “Adoshem,” “Elokeinu” etc. Anything but “God.” My first year at Michigan St...
Being Nachshon leads to holiness
Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27
by Rabbi Michael Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Apr 28, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
Throughout much of the book of Vayikra (Leviticus) we speak of biblical issues of ritual impurity, which could be transferred from one person to another. These impurities could also be transferred ...
With thanks and memory
Shabbat Hol HaMoed
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Apr 22, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Like most good stories, this one has passed through many storytellers. It is said to have originated with Shlomo Carlebach: Many years ago, a little 7-year old boy and his family were about to leav...
Faith matters, rabbi’s social work teaches
Achare Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Temple Sinai
Apr 14, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
There is so much to do in preparation for Pesach with all of the cleaning and cooking, the cleaning and arranging, the cleaning and inviting, the cleaning setting the table. With all there is to do...
An afflicted house
Parshah Metzora Leviticus 14:1-15:33
by Rabbi Martin Shorr
Temple Hadar Israel,New Castle, Pa.
Apr 08, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
Chapter 14, verses 33-34 in this week’s Torah portion are telling: “G-d spoke to Moshe and Aaron, saying, ‘When you arrive in the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, and I place (afflic...