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torah commentary
Let’s make a deal!
Parshat Vayetsei, Genesis 28:10-32:3 In this week’s portion, parashat Vayetsei, it seems that everyone is trying to pull a fast one on someone else. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Leah instead of...
Nov 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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‘A Prophetess Among Us’
In the Hitchcock classic “Psycho,” we are treated to a grand misdirection. For the first half-hour of the film, we follow the story of Marion Crane, a bored and frustrated Phoenix secretary who ste...
Nov 10, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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What will they say when?
Parshat Chayei Sara, 23:1-25:18 Not to be morbid, but it is time for me to start thinking about what they might say at my funeral. Trust me, I have many years left (God willing), but it is still ti...
Nov 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Pushing the limits
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 How do we act when we’re under great pressure? What hidden strengths come out — and what weaknesses — as we navigate through rough times? Parshat Vayera invites u...
Oct 28, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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What’s in a name?
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 This week, Parshat Lech Lecha, translated as “go forth,” chronicles the earliest part of the Abraham and Sarah biblical narrative. However, at the time of Ado...
Oct 22, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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We are not a country club
Parshat Noach, Genesis 6:9-11:32 Noah wasn’t Jewish. I find it interesting that our Torah began last week with Adam, not Abraham. It began with the first person, not the first Jew. We seem to forge...
Oct 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Abundance — blessing or curse?
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jul 25, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 166 166 recommendations | email to a friend
Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 This week’s portion, Ekev, is beloved for highlighting our connection to the land of Israel.  We learn of the seven species native to the land in Deuteronomy 8.9:  whea...
For the love of God
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Jul 18, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Va-etchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 “Then God Eternal fashioned the man — dust from the soil — and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that man became a living being.” — (Genesis 2:7) ...
The ox and the donkey
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Jul 11, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 164 164 recommendations | email to a friend
Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 An ox knows its owner, and a donkey knows its master’s crib. But Israel does not know; my people does not consider. — Isaiah 1:3   On the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, th...
Stroll down Memory Lane
by Rabbi Amy Hertz
Jul 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 181 181 recommendations | email to a friend
Matot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 This week’s Torah portion brings the Book of Numbers, and in many ways the narrative of the Torah, to a close.  With the end of B’midbar, our people’s journey in the...
A just reward?
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Jun 26, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 175 175 recommendations | email to a friend
Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 At the beginning of this week’s parsha, we read that Aaron’s grandson, Pinchas, is rewarded for his zealousness on God’s behalf with the reward that the priesthood will ...
Lessons learned from Balaam … and camping
by Rabbi Donni C. Aaron, Jewish Community Center
Jun 20, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 181 181 recommendations | email to a friend
Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 In this week’s Torah reading, Balak, King Balak of Moab retains the sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people. Instead of curses, though, only blessings come out of his mo...
‘A woman’s work is never done’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Jun 12, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 187 187 recommendations | email to a friend
Hukkat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 At first glance it seems so unfair. In this week’s parsha, Moses loses both his brother and his sister before preparing for his own death. Yet the accounts of their passin...
Give more than you take
by Rabbi Ron Symons, Temple Sinai
Jun 06, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 191 191 recommendations | email to a friend
Shelach, Numbers 13:1-15:41 “Now Korah, son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, took himself, along with Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On, son of Peleth — descendants of Reuben — to rise up...
Wearing tzitzit a suka of peace
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer, Congregation B’nai Abraham, Butler
May 30, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 185 185 recommendations | email to a friend
Shelach Lecha, Numbers 13:1–15:41 This week’s parsha contains the well-known story of the 12 spies sent into Canaan to assess the strength of the indigenous people and the productivity of the land....
No inconsequential kindness
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs, UPMC Shadyside
May 23, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 184 184 recommendations | email to a friend
Beha-Alotekha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 When Miriam the prophetess sinned and was afflicted with tza’raas [a spiritual ‘leprosy-like’ disease], she was required to remain outside the camp. During her reco...