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torah commentary
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 | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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Imperfect forgiveness
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 The story of Joseph and his brothers is a story of life and death. The brothers seek to destroy Joseph; a famine attacks the land; Joseph as Egyptian prime min...
Jan 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
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A tale of two Yossis
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41;1-44;17 One of the most remarkable features of the laws of Chanukah is their focus on the home. The Talmud (Shabbat 21a) formulates the core obligation of Chanukah as bei...
Dec 29, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend
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Which is the greater Chanukah miracle?
Parshat Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 As we prepare for the festival of Chanukah — which commences at the conclusion of the upcoming Sabbath — it behooves us to revisit the significance of the light...
Dec 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend
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The name of a nation — Israel: preparedness and perseverance leads to triumph
Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43 The Torah teaches us that Yaakov prepared on three fronts, in the face of the looming confrontation with Eisav. He prepared a gift, to hopefully soften Eisav....
Dec 14, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
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Dedicated Ugandan rabbi gives us hope, inspiration
Parshat Vayetzei, Genesis 25:19-28:9 Can you imagine, if, in order to make a meal, you had to walk four miles round trip to get the water, another couple of miles to collect the firewood, harvest y...
Dec 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
The small, silent aleph
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Mar 16, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 216 216 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
‘Were you honest?’
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Mar 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 211 211 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Pekudei, Exodus 38:21-40:38 In the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Shabbat 31a, we learn that after we die and ascend to the Divine realm, we are asked questions to determine our fitness to ent...
The best investment: charity
by Rabbi David Novitzky
Mar 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 212 212 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Va-Yakhel, Exodus 35:1-38:20 Shabbat Shekalim I am not at all astute concerning anything to do with financial investing, but I do believe that we are living in very turbulent economic times...
Everybody counts
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Feb 24, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 216 216 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11-34:35 This we week read Parshat Ki Tisa. Sure, I could focus on something interesting, like the Golden Calf or the Second Set of Tablets or even the 13 Attributes Of G...
Power of the pomegranate
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Feb 17, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 216 216 recommendations | email to a friend
It is hard to open a pomegranate. There are YouTube videos explaining how to do it, which can come in handy given the pre-eminence given to this luscious, anti-oxidant, symbolic fruit. Not only is ...
Boxing God
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Feb 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 217 217 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Terumah, Exodus: 25:1-27:19 Imagine putting God in a box. Impossible? Not according to Parshat Terumah. Terumah delineates the specifications of this box, its dimensions and how it was made...
Double restitution
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Feb 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 219 219 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 One of the many laws we find in this week’s Torah portion of Mishpatim is the law of double restitution. The Torah tells us: If a thief is caught and the stolen...
Jumping in … for redemption
by Rabbi Joe Hample
Jan 20, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 218 218 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Beshalach, Exodus 13:17-17:6 I spent a couple of years as a prison chaplain in California. It wasn’t exactly the job rabbinical school prepared me for, but it had its moments. I’ll say this...
To teach our children
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Jan 13, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 223 223 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 We get to the heart of the matter in the second verse of our Parsha, Bo. Moses and Aaron are instructed to go before Pharaoh even though God will harden his heart to t...
What always changes yet ever remains the same?
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Jan 07, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 218 218 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 Sometime circa 1987, my uncle sent me a video cassette (remember them?) of a home movie he had made with his 8-mm camera (remember them?) of my family’s Fourth of Jul...