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torah commentary
Righteousness, justice
Parashat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9, Isaiah 51:12-52:12 This year, I was fortunate to spend my eighth summer at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem studying with about 170 colleagues fro...
Aug 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
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For the children
Parshat Re’eh, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 We’re at the start of another year: or are we?  The civil year doesn’t begin till January.  But the Jewish year begins in just about a month, and the public s...
Aug 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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The spiritual dimension
Parshat Ekev, Deuteronomy 11:22-11:25 This week’s portion (Ekev) contains one of the most famous phrases in the book of Deuteronomy, although many people might be surprised to find that its origin ...
Aug 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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The joy of comfort
Recently, I saw the new Pixar movie “Inside Out,” an animated film for children with a lesson for adults.  Most of the film takes place inside the brain of Riley, an 11-year-old girl who is moving ...
Jul 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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What is your will?
Parashat Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22; Isaiah 1:1-27 Have you made your will? Perhaps you have made the will in which you dispose of your financial and physical estate. But have you made your ethi...
Jul 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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A continuing connection
Parshat Matot-Masei,Numbers 30:2-36:13 This week’s parsha of Matot continues the shift in narrative from the wilderness of Sinai to the upcoming entry of the tribes into the Promised Land. As the p...
Jul 15, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Meaningful midrash of Tisha B’av
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 230 230 recommendations | email to a friend
The story of Kansa and Bar Kamsa (Talmud Gittin, 55) illustrates the divided nature of the Jewish people that ultimately led to the terrible destruction of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem on Tisha B’a...
Israel’s borders – from Torah or diplomacy?
by Rabbi James Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jul 24, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 148 148 recommendations | email to a friend
Mas’ei Numbers 33.1-36.15 In Mas-ei, which ends the book of Bemidar, our Torah outlines specific borders to the land promised by God to our people, a promise extending all the way back to Avraham a...
Being there in spirit
by Rabbi Jessica E. Locketz
Jul 16, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 146 146 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Matot Numbers 30:2-32:42 In this week’s Torah portion, representatives of the Tribes of Reuben and Gad approach Moses. They have prospered on the east side of the Jordan. They have many her...
Seeing the big picture need not require standing on the vista
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons, Temple David
Jul 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 147 147 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Pinchas Numbers 25:10-30:1 In this week’s Torah portion, God commands Moses to ascend the hills from the other side of the Jordan River and look into the land of Israel. God reminds him tha...
Routine decisions can point us in the right direction
by Rabbi Donni C. Aaron
Jul 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 144 144 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Balak Numbers 22:2-25:9 In this week’s Torah reading, King Balak of Moab retains the sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people. Instead of curses, only blessings come out of his mouth. Whe...
In each generation ...
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Jun 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 142 142 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 One of the major events related in Parshat Chukat is the death of Miriam, the older sister of Moses and Aaron. Immediately after this, we read that the Israelites w...
How can things go wrong? Let me count the ways
by Rabbi Audrey Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Jun 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 141 141 recommendations | email to a friend
German is the most frustrating language. I’ve done Russian, French and Hebrew. I’ve learned new alphabets, switched from left to right. But nothing beats a complex German sentence to make a new stu...
Jerusalem the Holy
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs
May 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 141 141 recommendations | email to a friend
R Bamidbar The capital cities of every nation on earth are built on major trade routes or rivers.   They became capitals because they were centers of commerce and easily accessible. Jerusalem is th...
Something’s terribly wrong when a leaf is frightening
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
May 15, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 142 142 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bechukotai Leviticus 26:3-27:34 Bechukotai — literally “My law” — is the last parshah in Leviticus, functioning as an epilogue to the entire book. Through Moses, the Lord gives the people o...
Charity’s a choice, tzedakah isn’t
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
May 08, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 144 144 recommendations | email to a friend
If we find our neighbor in trouble, we must help him or her. This isn’t just being neighborly; this is the law, our law. To help someone who is in trouble is not a choice, it’s an obligation. If we...