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torah commentary
Acting out of spite
Parshat Va’era, Exodus 6:2-9:3 “Pride comes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18) C.S. Lewis: “For pride is spiritual cancer: It eats up the very possibility ...
Jan 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of a Jewish soul
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 ...
Jan 07, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Understanding Joseph
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...
Dec 31, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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End of year, end of story
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...
Dec 23, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Who will interpret our nightmares? Magicians or sages?
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...
Dec 17, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
What Shabbat Shekalim means
by Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner, Temple Shalom, Wheeling, W.Va.
Feb 07, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 60 60 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 | 52 52 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 | 51 51 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 | 44 44 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 | 45 45 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...
The three signs
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Jan 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend
Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 Moshe was called by G-d to be the leader of Israel, and to take out the Israelites from Egypt. But he objected that the Israelites would not believe him when he would tell th...
Flour and Torah
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Dec 27, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayechi, 47:28-50:26 There is a famous Hebrew saying: “Without flour, there is no Torah; without Torah, there is no flour.” ( Pirke Avot 3:21) The first part means that a person needs to be realist...
Recognizing the need to change
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Dec 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayigash 44:18-47:27 This week’s Torah portion Vayigash is about recognition. Specifically, the story concerns Joseph and his brothers at the moment when those who had earlier sold a younger Joseph...
G-d was with us then — and now
by Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner, Temple Shalom, Wheeling, W.Va.
Dec 13, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend
Mikeitz 41:1-44:17 We are in the middle of celebrating one of our most joyous holidays — Chanuka. Chanuka is fun to celebrate, whether we are young or old, for we all enjoy lighting our chanukkiot,...
Who was that man?
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman, Temple B’nai Israel, White Oak
Dec 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 Joseph, at Jacob’s request, travels to find his elder brothers who are tending Jacob’s flocks. “A man” finds Joseph wandering in the fields (Genesis 37:15) and helps hi...