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torah commentary
Spiritual cleansing can accompany the physical one
This Shabbat, the last Shabbat before Pesach, is known as Shabbat HaGadol — “the Big Shabbat,” “the Great Shabbat.” The exact origin and purpose of this distinction have been debated by sages for m...
Mar 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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The meaning of ritual
This week we begin the Book of Leviticus: “The Eternal called Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel.’” This book is for the children of Israel. I...
Mar 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend
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Talented in our own ways
Parshat Vayakhel-Pekude, Exodus 38:21-40:38 Every time I have to draw a picture, especially of the map of Israel, my students laugh. I am not an artist. Art was a required course in high school and...
Mar 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
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A different Moses emerges for all time
Parshat Ki Tisa Exodus 30:11-34:35 What is the significance of the dazzling radiance of Moses’ face and why did it not attain this shining glow until he received the second tablets on Yom Kippur? A...
Mar 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend
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The divine fragrance of memory
Parshat Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10 The Book of Exodus describes six ritual objects designed for use in the mishkan, the Taberncle: the Ark of the Covenant, the sacrificial altar, the menorah, the...
Feb 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of Cuban resiliency
Parshat Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19 “Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him. And these a...
Feb 18, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 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 | 119 119 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 | 104 104 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 | 94 94 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 | 79 79 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 | 71 71 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 | 71 71 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 | 67 67 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 | 71 71 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 | 58 58 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 | 85 85 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...