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torah commentary
You changed my sackcloth into robes of joy
For more than half my lifetime I have done my best to help victims of violent crimes in their struggle to recover. I have counseled rape, murder, terrorist and abuse victims spiritually, emotionall...
Apr 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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New moon, new months
Tazria Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The first Passover Seder is nearly upon us. How do we know? No need to look at the calendar; go outside and look at the moon. As our ancestors did, we too can look at the...
Mar 27, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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That last bite of matzah has a special message
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The countdown to Passover is on. With that in mind, what will we do this year to make Passover less about food — especially decadent chocolate cakes preceded by a multi...
Mar 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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The Purim paradox: Now more than ever
Shabbat Zachor, Leviticus 6:1-8:36 One of my rabbis in seminary told this story: While serving as an Army chaplain, a soldier professed to him, “I believe every word in the Bible!” The rabbi replie...
Mar 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Little alephs need our help
Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26 In this week’s parshah, which is the beginning of the book of Leviticus, we have something very unusual in the Torah scroll.  The first word, Vayikra, which means “And H...
Mar 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Holy housewarming can strengthen community
Suppose you fell in love, and wanted your beloved to move in with you.  You would probably arrange the residence exactly the way s/he likes it, with the furniture positioned and the tchotchkes depl...
Feb 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Some say yes, some say no; I say ‘what if?’ What say you?
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 14, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26 Every Jew who lived through the Six Day War recalls the thrilling image of Rabbi Shlomo Goren, chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces, holding a sefer Torah and blowin...
The first fundraiser
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Congregation Emanu-El Israel
Mar 07, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayakhel Pekudei Exodus 35:1 — 40:38 In the Jewish community, we are used to having fundraising campaigns. It is not something unique to the American scene. One can look throughout Jewish history a...
Uplifted faces bring peace, wholeness
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons Temple David, Monroeville
Feb 28, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tissa 30:11-34:35 Lately, I have been attending church. Perhaps that sounds odd for a rabbi to write.  Yet one of my goals for my current three-month sabbatical is to attend as many services as ...
Remember and don’t forget
by Rabbi Michael Werbow, Congregation Beth Shalom
Feb 21, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend
Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10 Just a few weeks ago, we read Parashat Yitro in which we retell the experience of standing at Mt. Sinai and hearing the voice of God deliver Torah to the people Israel....
Teruma: Benefits of group worship
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on
Feb 13, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend
Teruma, Exodus 25:1-27:19 What benefit does a person obtain from attending services in his or her synagogue? After all, can’t a person pray anywhere and anytime? This week’s Torah portion, Teruma, ...
What Shabbat Shekalim means
by Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner, Temple Shalom, Wheeling, W.Va.
Feb 07, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend
Mishpatim/Shabbat Shekalim This week, we are celebrating our first Shabbat in February, but since our festivals and holidays are coming early this year, it’s already time to start planning for Pesa...
Kingdom of priests
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman, New Light Congregation
Jan 31, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend
Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23 In this week’s Torah portion, we read that God declares the Jewish people a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:6) It comes just before the reading of the Te...
Songs of our tradition
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman, Temple B’nai Israel, White Oak
Jan 24, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
Beshalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16 Most of Exodus chapter 15 in this week’s Torah portion is devoted to shirat hayam (the song at the sea). Upon their miraculous deliverance from pursuit by Pharaoh’s ar...
Rejoice in freedom, not in others’ misfortune
by Rabbi Amy B. Hertz
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jan 17, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend
Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, describes the final three of the ten plagues that befell the land of Egypt and its people during the Israelites fight for freedom from ...
An imperfect leader – and that’s OK
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jan 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend
Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 Moses was not perfect.  This is such a simple statement to make, so easy to understand.  “Of course, Moses wasn’t perfect, he was a human being,” you tell me.  How could he b...