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torah commentary
Communal living a suprarational command
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 Is it more important to devote oneself to personal, spiritual develop­ment or to work for the good of the nation? I believe that a good argument can be made that co...
Jul 13, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of memory, especially to our history
Parshaht Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32 In this week’s Torah portion, a rebellion breaks out against Moses’ leadership, led by the Levite Korach, Reubenites Dathan and Abiram and 250 chieftains of the ...
Jul 06, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
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When the minority gets it right
Parshat Shelach Numbers, 13:1-15:41 This week’s Torah portion is Shelach, the story of the 12 spies, sent by Moses to explore and learn more about the Promised Land — this land G-d had promised our...
Jun 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
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The power — and importance — of words
Aaron and Miriam are speaking to each other. They criticize their brother for having married a Kushite woman.  God becomes angry at their speech and calls them to the Tent of Meeting. He chastises ...
Jun 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend
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The power of uplift, to make a day brighter
Parshat Nasso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 A few weeks ago at a shiva home, I heard a bereaved mother speak lovingly of her beloved daughter, Rivka. She related how, until Rivka’s funeral, she hadn’t fully a...
Jun 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend
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Look into the eyes
Parshat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 It was quite an endeavor. Moses was commanded to count every male of Israel over the age of 20 who was able to serve in the army. He was some 82 years old and rec...
Jun 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Words of sincerity
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Jul 01, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 “Say what you mean; and mean what you say.”   Whenever my grandfather offered me this admonition, I knew I was either being asked to clarify something I’d said or t...
Water for body and soul
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Jun 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chukat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 The day before this is published I will have returned safely, God willing, from a visit to my beloved native Arizona desert. It is a place of austere grandeur and ...
Don't be a hater
by Rabbi Amy Greenbaum
Jun 18, 2015 | 1 1 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend
Occasionally, one of my sons doesn’t like my final decision and he quotes a line from a Taylor Swift song, “Don’t be a hater Mom,” he says. Who realized that Taylor Swift knew Torah, specifically p...
God’s reputation or mission?
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Jun 11, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Sh'lach L'cha, Numbers 13.1-15.41 This week’s parsha finds our people caught in a classic “good news-bad news” scenario. The good news is that our troop of 12 spies has walked up and down t...
Be like Miriam
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Jun 03, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Beha’alotecha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 There is a Hebrew song that I sang often in my NFTY days: Mitzvah goreret mitzvah, averah goreret averah, “one good deed leads to another good deed, one tra...
It all adds up
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
May 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 Gematria explains a word or group of words according to the numerical equivalent of its letters. Alef = 1, bet = 2, gimmel = 3, etc. Both the Babylonians and Greeks ...
We were all at Mount Sinai
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
May 20, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 70 70 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bemidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 “And God said to us at Mount Sinai, ‘Today you stand before Me, all of you, your leaders and your followers, your children and your wives, even the stranger; all ...
Rest is a must for healthy, spiritual living
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
May 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Behar-Bechukotai, Leviticus 25:1-27:34 With this week’s double Torah portion of Behar-Bechukotai, we finish the book of Vayikra, or Leviticus. The verses in Behar detail the Holy One’s comm...
The joy of Lag b’Omer
by Rabbi Doris Dyen
May 06, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Sometimes the Jewish calendar provides us with mind-bending juxtapositions. This week’s parshah is Emor, full of restrictions about approaching the Holy. And we’r...
After a death … you shall strive to be holy
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Apr 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27 I am certain that you have asked the question and that you have heard the question just as I have, “How will I go on after she/he dies?” It is amo...