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torah commentary
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 | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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‘Act Your Age!’
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...
Dec 04, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Like dreamers
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...
Nov 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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I had no choice
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...
Nov 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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The peace we owe to Avraham
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...
Nov 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Guess who’s coming to minyan
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...
Nov 05, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Weigh candidates fairly when voting
by Rabbi Michael Werbow, Congregation Beth Shalom
Nov 01, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 Imagine the urgency with which Abraham greeted his guests.  As soon as he saw them coming he ran to greet them. Once he welcomed them and offered them something to eat, w...
Become you
by Rabbi Amy Hertz, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Oct 25, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 The story of our biblical ancestors Abraham and Sarah is one of great courage and profound change.  Their journey — our journey — begins with God’s invitation to them...
The challenge of righteousness 
by Barbara Binder Kadden Temple Beth El, Tacoma, Wash
Oct 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend
Noach, Genesis 6:9–11:32 “This is Noah’s chronicle. Noah was a righteous man; in his generation, he was above reproach; Noah walked with God” Genesis 6:9 The Rabbis have long debated this verse que...
Lost in the stars?
by Cantor Richard Berlin, Parkway Jewish Center
Oct 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
Bereshit, Genesis 1:1 –6:8 “When God began to create heaven and earth….” We return once again to repeat our cycle of Torah. Torah and its many commentaries assure us that God and humans are in a re...
To see God’s faces
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Oct 04, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot “You cannot see My face, for no one shall see Me and live.” This declaration is as emphatic as any in the Torah.  God issues it in response to Moses’ plea, “Oh, let me be...
The time is now
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Sep 27, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
Haazinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52 This week, we read from Parashat Haazinu. In it, Moses speaks words of poetry, a beautiful poem highlighting his last words to the children of Israel. After Moses finis...
Take one step after another
by Rabbi David Novitsky, Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa.
Sep 20, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Shuva Deuteronomy 31:1-30 Most wrongful conduct consists of both a trespass against a fellow person and a sin against G-d. On these days of penitence and specifically on Shabbat Shuva we ar...
‘Standing for something’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Sep 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 One of the most clever High Holy Day newspaper ads I ever saw was a display box that read, from top to bottom:  “Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Come sit ...
Some things are required, not desired
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Sep 06, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 This week’s Torah portion begins with the instructions for personal tithing. The “first fruits” of the harvest of ground vegetation (onions, garlic, lettuce, etc.) ar...
The mitzvot of kindness
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Aug 30, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tzeitzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 The world is built through kindness … — Psalm 89:3 Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  — Plato When I was young, I admired clever people....