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torah commentary
You changed my sackcloth into robes of joy
For more than half my lifetime I have done my best to help victims of violent crimes in their struggle to recover. I have counseled rape, murder, terrorist and abuse victims spiritually, emotionall...
Apr 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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New moon, new months
Tazria Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The first Passover Seder is nearly upon us. How do we know? No need to look at the calendar; go outside and look at the moon. As our ancestors did, we too can look at the...
Mar 27, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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That last bite of matzah has a special message
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The countdown to Passover is on. With that in mind, what will we do this year to make Passover less about food — especially decadent chocolate cakes preceded by a multi...
Mar 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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The Purim paradox: Now more than ever
Shabbat Zachor, Leviticus 6:1-8:36 One of my rabbis in seminary told this story: While serving as an Army chaplain, a soldier professed to him, “I believe every word in the Bible!” The rabbi replie...
Mar 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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Little alephs need our help
Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26 In this week’s parshah, which is the beginning of the book of Leviticus, we have something very unusual in the Torah scroll.  The first word, Vayikra, which means “And H...
Mar 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Holy housewarming can strengthen community
Suppose you fell in love, and wanted your beloved to move in with you.  You would probably arrange the residence exactly the way s/he likes it, with the furniture positioned and the tchotchkes depl...
Feb 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
‘Friending’ the stranger
Shelach, Numbers 13:1-15:41
by Rabbi Scott Aaron
Agency for Jewish Learning
Jun 14, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
In the rather cut-and-dry world of the Bible, one was identified by the people one was born in to, and kept that identity regardless of where one lived or whom one married. Israelites were Israelit...
The good, the bad, the opportunities
Be’ha-a-lot-cha (Numbers 8.1-12.16)
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Temple Sinai
Jun 08, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” So Charles Dickens wrote in his epic “Tale of Two Cities,” his novel of revolutionary France. We could say the same thing about so much of wha...
Lesson from the greater northeast
Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89
by Rabbi David C. Novitsky Beth Israel Congregation
Washington, Pa.
May 31, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
I was born and raised in the largest shtetl in Pennsylvania known as northeast Philadelphia. The neighborhood was lined with a whole host of synagogues whose members were similar theologically and ...
Everyone counts
Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
May 24, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
This week, we begin the fourth book of the Torah — Bamidbar. In the portion bearing the same name, Moses is commanded to take a census of the people, to couxnt all who are over the age of 20 and ab...
What’s it Worth to You?
B’har/B’hukkotai Leviticus 25:1 –27:34
by Cantor Richard Berlin
Parkway Jewish Center
May 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
We live in a time of materialism. We put a value on everything, whether a financial portfolio, the financial burden and impact of welfare and food stamps, or the crushing impact on unemployment and...
Happy and holy Mother’s Day
Emor, Leviticus 21:1 - 24:23
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
May 10, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend
I write this D’var Torah on April 22. Today would have been my mother’s 95th birthday. We celebrated my mother’s last birthday in 2005 when my family gathered for Shabbat dinner at her residence at...
‘After death … there is holiness’
Parashat Acharei Mot - Kedoshim
by Rabbi Amy B. Hertz
Rodef Shalom Congregation
May 04, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
In order to complete the reading of the Torah in a timely way this year, it is necessary to double up certain weekly Torah readings.  This week we read from a double portion, the combination of Par...
‘Icky, gooey, itchy’ parsha touts ageless role model
Tazra-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33    
by Rabbi Barbara Symons
Temple David, Monroeville
Apr 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
“The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: ‘When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling, a rash or a discoloration, and it develops into a scaly affliction on the skin of his body, it sha...
Something to chew on
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47
by Rabbi Michael Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Apr 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
The pursuit to find reasons for the mitzvot is long standing. As far back as the Mishna, the Talmud and Midrash, (second century B.C.E. to fifth century C.E.) the rabbis were looking for “ta’amei h...
Do the tithe thing
Passover, Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17; Numbers 28:19-25
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Apr 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
The regular Torah reading for the eighth day of Passover discusses the consecration of all firstborn animals to God and the festival calendar, clearly connecting to the observance of the holiday. H...