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torah commentary
The power of uplift, to make a day brighter
Parshat Nasso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 A few weeks ago at a shiva home, I heard a bereaved mother speak lovingly of her beloved daughter, Rivka. She related how, until Rivka’s funeral, she hadn’t fully a...
Jun 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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Look into the eyes
Parshat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 It was quite an endeavor. Moses was commanded to count every male of Israel over the age of 20 who was able to serve in the army. He was some 82 years old and rec...
Jun 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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A lesson in the importance of connection
Parshat Bechukotai, Leviticus 26:3-27:34 The primary focus of the first half of this parsha is the connection between observing the Torah and meriting peace and tranquility in Israel. Or, G-d forbi...
Jun 02, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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Tending to the ‘invisible’ wound
Parshat Behar, Leviticus 25:1-26:2 There is a new hashtag trending on social media.   The tag is #maybehedoesnthityou , and it offers women a chance to share their experience with domestic violence...
May 25, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of the counting of the Omer
Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23 In this week’s Torah portion, Emor, we encounter a timely mitzvah — the counting of the Omer. The Torah commands that starting with the second day of Passover, ev...
May 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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Ascending to holiness
Parshat Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27 So, just how do we do it? We are given a direct order in the very beginning of our parshah, kedoshim tihiyu, ki kadosh ani — “you shall be holy for I (your Go...
May 11, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Something’s terribly wrong when a leaf is frightening
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
May 15, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 152 152 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bechukotai Leviticus 26:3-27:34 Bechukotai — literally “My law” — is the last parshah in Leviticus, functioning as an epilogue to the entire book. Through Moses, the Lord gives the people o...
Charity’s a choice, tzedakah isn’t
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
May 08, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 150 150 recommendations | email to a friend
If we find our neighbor in trouble, we must help him or her. This isn’t just being neighborly; this is the law, our law. To help someone who is in trouble is not a choice, it’s an obligation. If we...
'The Case of the Blasphemer'
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Apr 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 152 152 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Do you know the story, referred to as  “The Case of the Blasphemer”? Candidly,  I’d be surprised if you did. “The Case  of the Blasphemer” isn’t often included  in...
Fire, Brimstone and Positive Acts
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Apr 24, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 152 152 recommendations | email to a friend
  Parshat Kedoshim Leviticus 19:1-20:27 This week’s Torah portion, Kedoshim, starts with one of the most-oft quoted verses of the Torah: “Speak to all the people of Israel and say to them that you ...
Why is this Shabbat Different from All Other Shabbatot?
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Apr 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 156 156 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Acharei Mot/Shabbat haGadol – Leviticus 16:1-18:30 One of the primary features of this week’s parshah, Acharei Mot, is the description of the rituals by which Aaron, the high priest, would ...
You changed my sackcloth into robes of joy
by Rabbi David Novitsky Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa.
Apr 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 152 152 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
New moon, new months
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 27, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 153 153 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
That last bite of matzah has a special message
by Rabbi Barbara Symons, Temple David, Monroeville
Mar 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 155 155 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
The Purim paradox: Now more than ever
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 156 156 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Little alephs need our help
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Mar 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 158 158 recommendations | email to a friend
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...