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torah commentary
The importance of the counting of the Omer
Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23 In this week’s Torah portion, Emor, we encounter a timely mitzvah — the counting of the Omer. The Torah commands that starting with the second day of Passover, ev...
May 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Ascending to holiness
Parshat Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27 So, just how do we do it? We are given a direct order in the very beginning of our parshah, kedoshim tihiyu, ki kadosh ani — “you shall be holy for I (your Go...
May 11, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Be a brother
Parshat Acharei Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30 On the day that Aharon HaKohen —Aaron the High Priest — was to celebrate the ascension of himself and his family to the priesthood, he suffered what was pe...
May 05, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Holidays: God’s gift to us to create lasting memories
Exodus 13:17-15:26, Numbers 28:19-28:25 Before we eat that first bite of pizza Saturday night, I am going to remember how fortunate we are to have had these eight days of matzah! Do we have a lot o...
Apr 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 8 8 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 | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Take one step after another
by Rabbi David Novitsky, Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa.
Sep 20, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Shuva Deuteronomy 31:1-30 Most wrongful conduct consists of both a trespass against a fellow person and a sin against G-d. On these days of penitence and specifically on Shabbat Shuva we ar...
‘Standing for something’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Sep 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend
Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 One of the most clever High Holy Day newspaper ads I ever saw was a display box that read, from top to bottom:  “Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Come sit ...
Some things are required, not desired
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Sep 06, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 This week’s Torah portion begins with the instructions for personal tithing. The “first fruits” of the harvest of ground vegetation (onions, garlic, lettuce, etc.) ar...
The mitzvot of kindness
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Aug 30, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tzeitzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 The world is built through kindness … — Psalm 89:3 Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  — Plato When I was young, I admired clever people....
Pursuing justice is harder than it sounds
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Aug 23, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
Shofetim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:19 If we had a top 10 list of popular teachings from Torah, the line from this week’s Torah portion would certainly qualify. It might even make the top five. In setti...
We cannot do as we please
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Aug 16, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend
Reeh Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 And God said in Deuteronomy 12:8, “You shall not continue to act as you have done so far, everyone doing what is right in her/his own sight.” But then how should we act...
Torah love is more action than feeling
by Rabbi Stephanie Wolfe, Beth Samuel Jewish Center
Aug 09, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend
Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:1 Do you remember your first love?  The one from high school or junior high whom you thought you would be with forever? For most of us, that story didn’t come true.  We learn as...
Deeply penetrating the heart
by Rabbi Ron Symons, Temple Sinai
Aug 02, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend
V’Etchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 I am writing these comments from a small faculty bedroom at the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Camp Harlam in the Poconos.  Harlam is one of 13 camps in the URJ ...
Love without reason trumps senseless hatred
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jul 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Last week, The Times of Israel published an article entitled, “Why I’m not fasting on Tisha B’Av this year.” The title arises out of the fact that this year, Tisha B’A...
Invisible realities
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs, UPMC Shadyside
Jul 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
If one were to choose among the greatest benefactors of humanity, Louis Pasteur would certainly rank at the top. He solved the mysteries of rabies, anthrax, chicken cholera and silkworm diseases, a...