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torah commentary
Ha’azinu ode on a biblical urn
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52 This week’s Torah portion of Ha’azinu contains a poetic narrative, and then in its conclusion it describes the last days of Moses’ life as he stood on Moun...
Sep 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of our words
Parshat Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Turn, O Israel, toward the Eternal, your God, that you may confess to your transgressions. Take with you words and turn to God saying, sweep away in forgiv...
Sep 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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With help, support and inspiration
What are the prerequisites to convert to Judaism? If you could choose, what would they be? While some of our denominations have a very clear answer, others are more flexible. As a Reform rabbi, I h...
Sep 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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Choosing a path
Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 A person is led on the path that he (or she) truly wants to travel on. (Talmud Makkot 10b) If a person comes to purify him (or her) self, he (or she) will be ...
Sep 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Cultivating compassion
Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 Among the 72 mitzvot that are delineated in the parasha of Ki Tetzei, there is one that some consider to be an “easy” mitzvah. In Deuteronomy 22:6-7 we learn, “If...
Aug 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Strong roots lead to a sound future
by Cantor Richard M. Berlin, Parkway Jewish Center
Aug 08, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend
Shoftim , Deuteronomy 16:18-21:19 Within Parshat Shoftim (Judges), it says: When in your war against a city you have to besiege it a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees...
Why would God care what we eat?
by Rabbi Joe Hample Congregation Tree of Life, Morgantown, W.Va.
Jul 31, 2013 | 2 2 comments | 166 166 recommendations | email to a friend
Re-eh, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 When I was young, you were supposed to eat what was put in front of you.  Now, everyone has special food requirements for reasons of health, politics, religion or an ...
Abundance — blessing or curse?
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jul 25, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 166 166 recommendations | email to a friend
Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 This week’s portion, Ekev, is beloved for highlighting our connection to the land of Israel.  We learn of the seven species native to the land in Deuteronomy 8.9:  whea...
For the love of God
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Jul 18, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Va-etchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 “Then God Eternal fashioned the man — dust from the soil — and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that man became a living being.” — (Genesis 2:7) ...
The ox and the donkey
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Jul 11, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 164 164 recommendations | email to a friend
Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 An ox knows its owner, and a donkey knows its master’s crib. But Israel does not know; my people does not consider. — Isaiah 1:3   On the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, th...
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...