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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 | 13 13 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 | 24 24 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 | 34 34 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 | 45 45 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 | 47 47 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 | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Boxing God
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Feb 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 250 250 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 | 251 251 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 | 249 249 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 | 256 256 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 | 250 250 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...
The wonder of life
by Cantor Henry Shapiro
Dec 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 249 249 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 As we open a new book, a new season, a new year, I can’t help but feel we’re in a movie sequel. We have a new generation and a new cast of characters, yet the details...
Joseph, the wonder boy
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
Dec 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 251 251 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26 Joseph is not shy about sharing his dreams and prophecies with the public. He understands prophecy as a gift that ought to guide and give vision to his growing ...
A public figure’s private life: ‘Inquiring minds want to know’
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Dec 17, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 244 244 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 “Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone withdraw from me!’ So there was no one else about when Jose...
Chanukah: ours, theirs or something else
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Dec 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 243 243 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41:1 - 44:17 There is a Christmas song entitled “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  For us Jews, I disagree. This time of year can be confusing, difficult, but not ...
The dreamers among us
by Rabbi Seth Adelson
Dec 03, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 244 244 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayyeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 “You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one” Embedded in John Lennon’s idealistic song is a little dig at dreamers: The line suggests that to call so...