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torah commentary
Holy history or sacred seeds?
Shabbat Chol Ha-Moed Sukkot 33:12-34:26 The Three Festivals we celebrate are powerful connectors of the Jewish people across time and space. Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot each provide essential connec...
Oct 01, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Ha’azinu ode on a biblical urn
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52 This week’s Torah portion of Ha’azinu contains a poetic narrative, and then in its conclusion it describes the last days of Moses’ life as he stood on Moun...
Sep 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of our words
Parshat Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Turn, O Israel, toward the Eternal, your God, that you may confess to your transgressions. Take with you words and turn to God saying, sweep away in forgiv...
Sep 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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With help, support and inspiration
What are the prerequisites to convert to Judaism? If you could choose, what would they be? While some of our denominations have a very clear answer, others are more flexible. As a Reform rabbi, I h...
Sep 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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Choosing a path
Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 A person is led on the path that he (or she) truly wants to travel on. (Talmud Makkot 10b) If a person comes to purify him (or her) self, he (or she) will be ...
Sep 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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Cultivating compassion
Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 Among the 72 mitzvot that are delineated in the parasha of Ki Tetzei, there is one that some consider to be an “easy” mitzvah. In Deuteronomy 22:6-7 we learn, “If...
Aug 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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‘Act Your Age!’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin
Dec 04, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 111 111 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 | 118 118 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 | 123 123 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 | 132 132 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 | 141 141 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 | 151 151 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 | 152 152 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 | 233 233 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 | 240 240 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...
Return again
Sep 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 244 244 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Nitzavim/Vayelech Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Atah nitzavim, you are standing, all of you, this day before God. You, your leaders, and the most humble of the people.” So begins this week’s Tora...