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torah commentary
Pesach offers chance to celebrate true freedom
Passover Exodus 12:21-12:51, Numbers 28:16-28:25 As we approach the holiday of Pesach, I would like to draw your attention to one of the holiday’s most powerful messages. The holiday of Pesach is a...
Apr 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Hunger on the verge
Parshat Metzora, Leviticus 14:1-15:33 Shabbat Hagadol Toward the beginning of the Passover seder, we raise the matzahs and say, “Ha lachma anya — This the is bread of …” what? Is it the bread of af...
Apr 14, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Why we don’t edit the Torah
Parshat Tazria Leviticus, 12:1-13:59; Numbers 28:9-15, Exodus 12:1-20 Shabbat Hachodesh Don’t you wish you could edit out the things in your life that you don’t like? Wouldn’t it be nice to go back...
Apr 06, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Gone out of their heads
Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47, Numbers 19:1-22 The Associated Press ran a story some time ago of Andre-Francois Raffray. More than 30 years ago at the age of 47, he worked out a real estate ...
Mar 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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It’s all in the relationship
Relationships take work. Anyone who has ever been in any kind of relationship with another person — whether a friend, family member, co-worker, spouse or significant other, or even an acquaintance ...
Mar 24, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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The small, silent aleph
Parshat Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26, Deuteronomy 25:17-19 The third of the Torah’s five books is known to most of us by its Latin name Leviticus. This is because the book’s  greatest concerns are t...
Mar 16, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
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 | 161 161 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 ...
Esau: good or bad?
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Oct 29, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 This week’s parshah is, in my opinion, a disturbing one. The story begins with the birth of the fraternal twins, Esau and Jacob.  From the beginning it is clear they are ...