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torah commentary
Seeing the big picture need not require standing on the vista
Parshat Pinchas Numbers 25:10-30:1 In this week’s Torah portion, God commands Moses to ascend the hills from the other side of the Jordan River and look into the land of Israel. God reminds him tha...
Jul 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Routine decisions can point us in the right direction
Parshat Balak Numbers 22:2-25:9 In this week’s Torah reading, King Balak of Moab retains the sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people. Instead of curses, only blessings come out of his mouth. Whe...
Jul 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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In each generation ...
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 One of the major events related in Parshat Chukat is the death of Miriam, the older sister of Moses and Aaron. Immediately after this, we read that the Israelites w...
Jun 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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How can things go wrong? Let me count the ways
German is the most frustrating language. I’ve done Russian, French and Hebrew. I’ve learned new alphabets, switched from left to right. But nothing beats a complex German sentence to make a new stu...
Jun 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Jerusalem the Holy
R Bamidbar The capital cities of every nation on earth are built on major trade routes or rivers.   They became capitals because they were centers of commerce and easily accessible. Jerusalem is th...
May 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Something’s terribly wrong when a leaf is frightening
Parshat Bechukotai Leviticus 26:3-27:34 Bechukotai — literally “My law” — is the last parshah in Leviticus, functioning as an epilogue to the entire book. Through Moses, the Lord gives the people o...
May 15, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Weigh candidates fairly when voting
by Rabbi Michael Werbow, Congregation Beth Shalom
Nov 01, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 Imagine the urgency with which Abraham greeted his guests.  As soon as he saw them coming he ran to greet them. Once he welcomed them and offered them something to eat, w...
Become you
by Rabbi Amy Hertz, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Oct 25, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 The story of our biblical ancestors Abraham and Sarah is one of great courage and profound change.  Their journey — our journey — begins with God’s invitation to them...
The challenge of righteousness 
by Barbara Binder Kadden Temple Beth El, Tacoma, Wash
Oct 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
Noach, Genesis 6:9–11:32 “This is Noah’s chronicle. Noah was a righteous man; in his generation, he was above reproach; Noah walked with God” Genesis 6:9 The Rabbis have long debated this verse que...
Lost in the stars?
by Cantor Richard Berlin, Parkway Jewish Center
Oct 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
Bereshit, Genesis 1:1 –6:8 “When God began to create heaven and earth….” We return once again to repeat our cycle of Torah. Torah and its many commentaries assure us that God and humans are in a re...
To see God’s faces
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Oct 04, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot “You cannot see My face, for no one shall see Me and live.” This declaration is as emphatic as any in the Torah.  God issues it in response to Moses’ plea, “Oh, let me be...
The time is now
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Sep 27, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
Haazinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52 This week, we read from Parashat Haazinu. In it, Moses speaks words of poetry, a beautiful poem highlighting his last words to the children of Israel. After Moses finis...
Take one step after another
by Rabbi David Novitsky, Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa.
Sep 20, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Shuva Deuteronomy 31:1-30 Most wrongful conduct consists of both a trespass against a fellow person and a sin against G-d. On these days of penitence and specifically on Shabbat Shuva we ar...
‘Standing for something’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Sep 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 One of the most clever High Holy Day newspaper ads I ever saw was a display box that read, from top to bottom:  “Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Come sit ...
Some things are required, not desired
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Sep 06, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 This week’s Torah portion begins with the instructions for personal tithing. The “first fruits” of the harvest of ground vegetation (onions, garlic, lettuce, etc.) ar...
The mitzvot of kindness
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Aug 30, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tzeitzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 The world is built through kindness … — Psalm 89:3 Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  — Plato When I was young, I admired clever people....