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torah commentary
When you’re here, you’re family
Parashat Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Since Judaism teaches that all Jews are responsible for each other, the hemorrhaging of the number of diaspora Jews actively involved in Jewish life — or even ide...
May 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
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After death — holiness
Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim Leviticus 16:1-20:27 “Would you like to identify the body?” The question struck me as more than strange. I was a new young rabbi, but knowledgeable enough about Jewish ...
May 04, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
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It is up to us to stay morally vigilant
Parashat Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 In this week’s Torah reading, Parshas Tazria, we read about tzaraat, commonly mistranslated “leprosy.” This was a miraculous skin eruption that would o...
Apr 27, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
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Nothing to fear but fear itself
Parashat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 This week we read the portion of Shemini, in which the Mishkan, the Tabernacle for the Almighty, is inaugurated and Aaron the High Priest leads the service for...
Apr 20, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend
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Silence is more than golden
Chol Hamoed, Pesach: Exodus 33:12 - 34:26, Numbers 28:19-25 The last days of the festival of Passover are dedicated to the splitting of the Reed Sea, one of the most dramatic and cataclysmic events...
Apr 19, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend
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With Elijah’s help, do it for the children
Parshat Tzav, Shabbat HaGadol, Leviticus 6:1-8:36 The Shabbat before Passover is called Shabbat Hagadol (the Great Sabbath), a phrase deriving from the last verse of the prophetic portion read on t...
Apr 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Ha’azinu ode on a biblical urn
by Rabbi David C. Novitsky
Sep 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 328 328 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52 This week’s Torah portion of Ha’azinu contains a poetic narrative, and then in its conclusion it describes the last days of Moses’ life as he stood on Moun...
The gift of our words
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Sep 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 332 332 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Turn, O Israel, toward the Eternal, your God, that you may confess to your transgressions. Take with you words and turn to God saying, sweep away in forgiv...
With help, support and inspiration
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Sep 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 331 331 recommendations | email to a friend
What are the prerequisites to convert to Judaism? If you could choose, what would they be? While some of our denominations have a very clear answer, others are more flexible. As a Reform rabbi, I h...
Choosing a path
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Sep 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 334 334 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 A person is led on the path that he (or she) truly wants to travel on. (Talmud Makkot 10b) If a person comes to purify him (or her) self, he (or she) will be ...
Cultivating compassion
by Rabbi Bryna Milkow
Aug 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 336 336 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 Among the 72 mitzvot that are delineated in the parasha of Ki Tetzei, there is one that some consider to be an “easy” mitzvah. In Deuteronomy 22:6-7 we learn, “If...
Righteousness, justice
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Aug 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 329 329 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
For the children
by Rabbi Joe Hample
Aug 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 330 330 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
The spiritual dimension
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Aug 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 325 325 recommendations | email to a friend
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 ...
The joy of comfort
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
Jul 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 327 327 recommendations | email to a friend
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 ...
What is your will?
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Jul 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 322 322 recommendations | email to a friend
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...