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torah commentary
Interconnectedness is a Jewish value
Parshat Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23 The American psyche holds independence in great esteem. Our nation was conceived not by people who saw themselves united in culture or history or through shared anc...
Feb 15, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
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First steps on the path to the Promised Land
Parshat Beshalach, Exodus 13:17 - 17:16 Redemption! Parshat Beshalach is a Torah portion of glory — glory in the Song at the Sea, the poetic celebration of liberation from Egyptian bondage, and glo...
Feb 09, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend
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Genealogy only goes so far
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 Why is the killing of the firstborn the final, and most significant, plague? True, it brought death into every household, rattling Egypt at its foundations, but certai...
Feb 01, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend
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A condemnation of one’s own making
Parshat Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 During this past summer I had the opportunity to spend a Shabbat with the Yeshiva High School boys at Camp Twin Echo in the Laurel Highlands. After Shabbat I stopped ...
Jan 25, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
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Moshe’s curious mind
Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 A new Pharaoh has risen.  The people Israel are enslaved and oppressed, and their very lives are in danger.  Into this frightening reality, a baby is born who then be...
Jan 19, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend
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Our top priority: Service to G-d
The Torah portion this week relates a fascinating exchange between father and son. Jacob was lying on his deathbed when he turned to his second to the youngest son, Joseph, whom at the time was the...
Jan 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
He fled outside
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Dec 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 352 352 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 37:1-40:23 The Torah is a very concise document. Every phrase and every word is carefully measured out for maximum effect. When there is a superfluous word or a phrase o...
‘Act Your Age!’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin
Dec 04, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 275 275 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayishlach Genesis 32:4-36:43 So I took yet another one of those online quizzes today. This one seeks to guess my age using my answers to just six questions focused on pop culture. The firs...
Like dreamers
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Nov 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 272 272 recommendations | email to a friend
Even with all the diversity among the Jewish people, one sentence epitomizes the Jewish relationship with the Land of Israel. It was around the year 500 B.C.E. when our psalmist put quill to parchm...
I had no choice
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Nov 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 274 274 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 A parable told in “The Midrash Says” helps explain how the twin brothers of this week’s Torah portion could end up so very different: “A myrtle branch and a thorn...
The peace we owe to Avraham
by Rabbi Amy Levin
Nov 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 273 273 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chayei Sarah Genesis 23:1 - 25:18 In this week’s parshah, each member of Avraham’s family undergoes a fundamental transition: Sarah dies, Yitzchak and Rivkah meet and marry, Avraham dies, Y...
Guess who’s coming to minyan
by Rabbi David Novitsky
Nov 05, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 276 276 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 I do not recommend nor do I advocate that the Jewish law regarding the composition of a minyan should be abrogated in any fashion. But I do admire the openness an...
An ‘Aha!’ moment
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Oct 29, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 281 281 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 In this week’s Torah portion, Abram (as he is called at the beginning) is told to “Go! Go from your land, from your birthplace, from the house of your father ...
The seas speak of God’s justice
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Oct 23, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 277 277 recommendations | email to a friend
­ 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...
Blessings for the miracles around us
by Rabbi Donni C. Aaron
Oct 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 354 354 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Approaching Yom Kippur, a thorough scrubbing for the New Year
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
Oct 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 355 355 recommendations | email to a friend
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...