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torah commentary
Righteousness, justice
Parashat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9, Isaiah 51:12-52:12 This year, I was fortunate to spend my eighth summer at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem studying with about 170 colleagues fro...
Aug 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
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For the children
Parshat Re’eh, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 We’re at the start of another year: or are we?  The civil year doesn’t begin till January.  But the Jewish year begins in just about a month, and the public s...
Aug 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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The spiritual dimension
Parshat Ekev, Deuteronomy 11:22-11:25 This week’s portion (Ekev) contains one of the most famous phrases in the book of Deuteronomy, although many people might be surprised to find that its origin ...
Aug 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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The joy of comfort
Recently, I saw the new Pixar movie “Inside Out,” an animated film for children with a lesson for adults.  Most of the film takes place inside the brain of Riley, an 11-year-old girl who is moving ...
Jul 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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What is your will?
Parashat Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22; Isaiah 1:1-27 Have you made your will? Perhaps you have made the will in which you dispose of your financial and physical estate. But have you made your ethi...
Jul 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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A continuing connection
Parshat Matot-Masei,Numbers 30:2-36:13 This week’s parsha of Matot continues the shift in narrative from the wilderness of Sinai to the upcoming entry of the tribes into the Promised Land. As the p...
Jul 15, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Stroll down Memory Lane
by Rabbi Amy Hertz
Jul 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 181 181 recommendations | email to a friend
Matot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 This week’s Torah portion brings the Book of Numbers, and in many ways the narrative of the Torah, to a close.  With the end of B’midbar, our people’s journey in the...
A just reward?
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Jun 26, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 175 175 recommendations | email to a friend
Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 At the beginning of this week’s parsha, we read that Aaron’s grandson, Pinchas, is rewarded for his zealousness on God’s behalf with the reward that the priesthood will ...
Lessons learned from Balaam … and camping
by Rabbi Donni C. Aaron, Jewish Community Center
Jun 20, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 181 181 recommendations | email to a friend
Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 In this week’s Torah reading, Balak, King Balak of Moab retains the sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people. Instead of curses, though, only blessings come out of his mo...
‘A woman’s work is never done’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Jun 12, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 187 187 recommendations | email to a friend
Hukkat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 At first glance it seems so unfair. In this week’s parsha, Moses loses both his brother and his sister before preparing for his own death. Yet the accounts of their passin...
Give more than you take
by Rabbi Ron Symons, Temple Sinai
Jun 06, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 191 191 recommendations | email to a friend
Shelach, Numbers 13:1-15:41 “Now Korah, son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, took himself, along with Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On, son of Peleth — descendants of Reuben — to rise up...
Wearing tzitzit a suka of peace
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer, Congregation B’nai Abraham, Butler
May 30, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 185 185 recommendations | email to a friend
Shelach Lecha, Numbers 13:1–15:41 This week’s parsha contains the well-known story of the 12 spies sent into Canaan to assess the strength of the indigenous people and the productivity of the land....
No inconsequential kindness
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs, UPMC Shadyside
May 23, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 184 184 recommendations | email to a friend
Beha-Alotekha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 When Miriam the prophetess sinned and was afflicted with tza’raas [a spiritual ‘leprosy-like’ disease], she was required to remain outside the camp. During her reco...
Broken promises addressed by Torah
by Rabbi Martin William Shorr, Temple Hadar Israel, New Castle
May 17, 2013 | 2 2 comments | 191 191 recommendations | email to a friend
Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 Parsha Naso is interesting. While a great deal of the sedra refers to its name, identifying the offerings and count of the leaders of each tribe, or nasiam, there are isolat...
Our firstborn no longer belong to God
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
May 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 172 172 recommendations | email to a friend
Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 Once upon a time, a long time ago, every firstborn belonged to God. We were always supposed to give the first of all “our fruits” to God, literally. Now, let’s go way bac...
Shabbat as a utopian ideal
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation
May 02, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 169 169 recommendations | email to a friend
Behar-Behukotai, Leviticus 25:1-27:34 This week’s Torah reading is drawn from a double portion, Behar-Behukotai. Behar is associated with the laws of sabbatical; that is, we are instructed to allow...