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torah commentary
Because we love, we grieve
Parshat Chayei Sarah, Genesis 23:1-25:18 Our matriarch Sarah dies in the beginning of the Torah portion Chayei Sarah, and Abraham dies at the end. In between, we read about the events leading to th...
Nov 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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Despite all obstacles, never give up
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 In this week’s Torah portion our forefather Abraham undergoes the greatest challenge of his life: He is called upon to surrender his son to the Almighty.  Abraham...
Nov 17, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
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The making of a covenant with men and women
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:28 Almost 25 years after God calls Abram to leave his home in Mesopotamia and go to the land of Canaan, God formally establishes a covenant with him. Like that e...
Nov 10, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
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Being the right kind of agnostic
Parashat Noach, Genesis 6:9-11:32 When it comes to questions of belief, the agnostic is the loneliest of all. On one side of the fence stands the atheist, confident in his rejection of God and ofte...
Nov 02, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend
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Being a part of creation without destroying it
Parshat Bereshit, Genesis 1:1-6:8 In six days, God created the world and then rested. However, we have not rested. We God-inspired humans use technology, competition and at times hubris to continue...
Oct 27, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
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Happiness is a choice, not a chase
Shabbat Sukkot, Leviticus 22:26-23:44, Numbers 29:12 - 29:16 This brief but bold phrase that has become such a part of the fabric of our society seems in some way to mirror our Jewish holidays of t...
Oct 19, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Make a joyful noise
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jan 08, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 157 157 recommendations | email to a friend
Beshalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16 The public radio program “Radiolab” recently aired a story about a man expressing pure joy. The man, Aleksander Gamme, is an adventurer; the event happened on day 86 o...
Time to soften our hearts, hear our suffering
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jan 02, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 157 157 recommendations | email to a friend
Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 When we speak of “Pharaoh,” of course, we are referring to the ruler of Egypt at the time Moses approaches to demand of him, “Let my People go!” This is the pharaoh “who knew ...
Don’t wait, do it now
by Rabbi Michael Werbow, Congregation Beth Shalom
Dec 24, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today” is a familiar maxim attributed to Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.  Unfortunately, though, many...
Spiritual exile and redemption — we are all meant to be free
by Rabbi James Gibson, Temple Sinai
Dec 19, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 161 161 recommendations | email to a friend
Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 Commenting on our parshah, the Sefat Emet , Rabbi Yehuda Aryeh Leib Alter (1847-1905) wondered why the Israelites had not cried out to God from the beginning of their bondage...
Shema story resonates with young people in today’s world and hope
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer, Congregation B’nai Abraham, Butler
Dec 11, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 164 164 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayechi, Genesis, 47:28-50:26 Parshat Vayechi  (and he lived) is the last portion in Bereshit (Genesis).  It serves as a bridge between the chronicles of the patriarchs and matriarchs in Bereshit a...
Joseph’s revelation holds new lessons for today’s challenges and hope
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Dec 05, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 How could they not know? That’s the question I always have — the problem I always struggle with — when it comes to these chapters of the book of Genesis. How could Jos...
Two stories share message of abundance and hope
by Rabbi Ron Symons, Temple Sinai
Nov 27, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Miketz, Genesis 41:1-44:17 I love Chanukah. I love Chanukah because of the latkes and the jelly donuts, the dreidels and the gelt, the family fun and the increasing light. While many of us share a ...
Carving out a new place leads to lasting change
by Rabbi Stephanie Wolfe, Beth Samuel Jewish Center, Ambridge
Nov 20, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 158 158 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 Many of us have had those moments when we do something or say something and afterward think, “I’ve turned into my mother (or father).” It doesn’t matter how far away we...
Esau: pitiful or triumphant? Re-examining what sages say
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Nov 13, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 160 160 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayishlach Genesis 32:4-36:43 As you probably know, the members of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association take turns writing the weekly Torah commentary for this paper.  What you probably don’...
‘Walking to the sky’
by Rabbi David Novitzky Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa.
Nov 07, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 159 159 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayetzei, Genesis 28:10-32:3 In my opinion, one of the best sites to visit in Pittsburgh is Jonathan Borofsky’s “Walking to the Sky” exhibit located at Carnegie Mellon University. The sculpture is ...