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torah commentary
He fled outside
Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 37:1-40:23 The Torah is a very concise document. Every phrase and every word is carefully measured out for maximum effect. When there is a superfluous word or a phrase o...
Dec 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
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‘Act Your Age!’
Parshat Vayishlach Genesis 32:4-36:43 So I took yet another one of those online quizzes today. This one seeks to guess my age using my answers to just six questions focused on pop culture. The firs...
Dec 04, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Like dreamers
Even with all the diversity among the Jewish people, one sentence epitomizes the Jewish relationship with the Land of Israel. It was around the year 500 B.C.E. when our psalmist put quill to parchm...
Nov 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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I had no choice
Parshat Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 A parable told in “The Midrash Says” helps explain how the twin brothers of this week’s Torah portion could end up so very different: “A myrtle branch and a thorn...
Nov 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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The peace we owe to Avraham
Parshat Chayei Sarah Genesis 23:1 - 25:18 In this week’s parshah, each member of Avraham’s family undergoes a fundamental transition: Sarah dies, Yitzchak and Rivkah meet and marry, Avraham dies, Y...
Nov 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Guess who’s coming to minyan
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 I do not recommend nor do I advocate that the Jewish law regarding the composition of a minyan should be abrogated in any fashion. But I do admire the openness an...
Nov 05, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 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 | 39 39 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 | 48 48 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 | 53 53 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 | 49 49 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 | 49 49 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 | 57 57 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 | 49 49 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 | 48 48 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 | 41 41 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 | 42 42 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...