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torah commentary
When a curse is transformed into a prayer
Parashat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 What would we find in the Torah were we to open it up and look through its pages? Many would suggest we’d find “prayers.” As it happens, there are actually very fe...
Jul 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of acceptance
Parashat Chukat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 In the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, we break from the historical narrative of the Jewish people wandering in the desert. The Torah pauses to tell us a ...
Jun 28, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend
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A new sheriff in town? Not so fast
Parshat Korach, Numbers 16:1–18:32 Since the beginning of recorded time there have always been political challenges to the leadership and the establishment of every society and institution. Moses a...
Jun 22, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend
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Where there is no leader, strive to be a leader
Parashat Sheleach, Numbers 13:1-15:41 In the first aliyah of this week’s parshah Shelach Lecha, God speaks to Moses telling him to “send men … everyone a leader among them” to spy upon the land. Th...
Jun 14, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend
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Seeking the right kind of leader
Parashat Beha'alotcha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 The Jewish people seemed poised for entry into the Promised Land when suddenly, “the nation became a group of kvetchers, complaining evilly in the ears of t...
Jun 07, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend
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Only God blesses and we are all holy
Parashat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 “That man has no right to bless me! He’s a no-good good-for-nothing!” Ah, the good old days. The days of duchening. The days when the Kohanim (those of priestly lin...
Jun 01, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Let’s make a deal!
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Nov 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 361 361 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayetsei, Genesis 28:10-32:3 In this week’s portion, parashat Vayetsei, it seems that everyone is trying to pull a fast one on someone else. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Leah instead of...
‘A Prophetess Among Us’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin
Nov 10, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 362 362 recommendations | email to a friend
In the Hitchcock classic “Psycho,” we are treated to a grand misdirection. For the first half-hour of the film, we follow the story of Marion Crane, a bored and frustrated Phoenix secretary who ste...
What will they say when?
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Nov 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 370 370 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chayei Sara, 23:1-25:18 Not to be morbid, but it is time for me to start thinking about what they might say at my funeral. Trust me, I have many years left (God willing), but it is still ti...
Pushing the limits
by Rabbi Doris J. Dyen
Oct 28, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 383 383 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 How do we act when we’re under great pressure? What hidden strengths come out — and what weaknesses — as we navigate through rough times? Parshat Vayera invites u...
What’s in a name?
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
Oct 22, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 379 379 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 This week, Parshat Lech Lecha, translated as “go forth,” chronicles the earliest part of the Abraham and Sarah biblical narrative. However, at the time of Ado...
We are not a country club
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Oct 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 380 380 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Noach, Genesis 6:9-11:32 Noah wasn’t Jewish. I find it interesting that our Torah began last week with Adam, not Abraham. It began with the first person, not the first Jew. We seem to forge...
Look to mythical truth for purposeful life
Oct 07, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 384 384 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bereishit, Genesis 1:1-6:8 This week we begin reading the Book of Genesis. We turn to this first book of the Torah as a template to explore some of the most important concepts in Judaism, n...
Holy history or sacred seeds?
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Oct 01, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 370 370 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Chol Ha-Moed Sukkot 33:12-34:26 The Three Festivals we celebrate are powerful connectors of the Jewish people across time and space. Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot each provide essential connec...
Ha’azinu ode on a biblical urn
by Rabbi David C. Novitsky
Sep 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 364 364 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 | 370 370 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...