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torah commentary
Monotheism and the problem of truth
Shabbat Nachamu, Parshat Etchanon, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 “You shall have no other gods beside Me!” This is the first of aseret hadibrot, literally the “Ten Declarations” or “Ten Commandments” found...
Aug 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of ‘Solomon’s time’
Shabbat Chazon, Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Every year, Jews, as we have for more than two millenia, observe the fast of the Ninth of Av, marking the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, the...
Aug 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
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(Re)ordering our priorities
Parshat Mattot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 In this week’s double portion, Matot-Ma’asei, it seems that our biblical ancestors have questionable priorities. As plans get underway for the eventual move...
Aug 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of a unified community
Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 This parshah seems to be a hodgepodge of loosely connected or disconnected themes. The reward for Pinchas, the order to attack Midian (that actual attack is defe...
Jul 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
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Miracle tales
Parshat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!” These beloved words in praise of Jewish community, which have become part of our everyday liturgy,...
Jul 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
The importance of a Jewish soul
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Jan 07, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 251 251 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 A few weeks ago, publisher David Suissa reported on the White House Chanukah party he attended: “So, when the president got closer to us and I was prepared to launch ...
Understanding Joseph
by Rabbi Aaron Benjamin Bisno
Dec 31, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 262 262 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26 According to a recently published survey from a company called School Stickers, and as reported by the internet-media company Buzzfeed, the Top 10 most common n...
End of year, end of story
by Cantor Henry Shapiro
Dec 23, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 255 255 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 As we close out the year, we also draw to a close the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Even though we have one more parshah to finish the book, this week’s po...
Who will interpret our nightmares? Magicians or sages?
by Rabbi James Gibson
Dec 17, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 246 246 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41:1-44:17 In this week’s Torah portion, Joseph has fallen from fatherly favor to the depths of Pharaoh’s dungeons. The dreams of his youth seem to mock him. He is cast away...
He fled outside
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Dec 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 249 249 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
‘Act Your Age!’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin
Dec 04, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 180 180 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Like dreamers
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Nov 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 185 185 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
I had no choice
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Nov 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 192 192 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
The peace we owe to Avraham
by Rabbi Amy Levin
Nov 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 201 201 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Guess who’s coming to minyan
by Rabbi David Novitsky
Nov 05, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 210 210 recommendations | email to a friend
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...