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torah commentary
Monotheism and the problem of truth
Shabbat Nachamu, Parshat Etchanon, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 “You shall have no other gods beside Me!” This is the first of aseret hadibrot, literally the “Ten Declarations” or “Ten Commandments” found...
Aug 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of ‘Solomon’s time’
Shabbat Chazon, Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Every year, Jews, as we have for more than two millenia, observe the fast of the Ninth of Av, marking the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, the...
Aug 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
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(Re)ordering our priorities
Parshat Mattot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 In this week’s double portion, Matot-Ma’asei, it seems that our biblical ancestors have questionable priorities. As plans get underway for the eventual move...
Aug 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of a unified community
Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 This parshah seems to be a hodgepodge of loosely connected or disconnected themes. The reward for Pinchas, the order to attack Midian (that actual attack is defe...
Jul 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend
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Miracle tales
Parshat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!” These beloved words in praise of Jewish community, which have become part of our everyday liturgy,...
Jul 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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Communal living a suprarational command
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 Is it more important to devote oneself to personal, spiritual develop­ment or to work for the good of the nation? I believe that a good argument can be made that co...
Jul 13, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Shema story resonates with young people in today’s world and hope
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer, Congregation B’nai Abraham, Butler
Dec 11, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 164 164 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayechi, Genesis, 47:28-50:26 Parshat Vayechi  (and he lived) is the last portion in Bereshit (Genesis).  It serves as a bridge between the chronicles of the patriarchs and matriarchs in Bereshit a...
Joseph’s revelation holds new lessons for today’s challenges and hope
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Dec 05, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 How could they not know? That’s the question I always have — the problem I always struggle with — when it comes to these chapters of the book of Genesis. How could Jos...
Two stories share message of abundance and hope
by Rabbi Ron Symons, Temple Sinai
Nov 27, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Miketz, Genesis 41:1-44:17 I love Chanukah. I love Chanukah because of the latkes and the jelly donuts, the dreidels and the gelt, the family fun and the increasing light. While many of us share a ...
Carving out a new place leads to lasting change
by Rabbi Stephanie Wolfe, Beth Samuel Jewish Center, Ambridge
Nov 20, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 158 158 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 Many of us have had those moments when we do something or say something and afterward think, “I’ve turned into my mother (or father).” It doesn’t matter how far away we...
Esau: pitiful or triumphant? Re-examining what sages say
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Nov 13, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 160 160 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayishlach Genesis 32:4-36:43 As you probably know, the members of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association take turns writing the weekly Torah commentary for this paper.  What you probably don’...
‘Walking to the sky’
by Rabbi David Novitzky Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa.
Nov 07, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 159 159 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayetzei, Genesis 28:10-32:3 In my opinion, one of the best sites to visit in Pittsburgh is Jonathan Borofsky’s “Walking to the Sky” exhibit located at Carnegie Mellon University. The sculpture is ...
Esau: good or bad?
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Oct 29, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 This week’s parshah is, in my opinion, a disturbing one. The story begins with the birth of the fraternal twins, Esau and Jacob.  From the beginning it is clear they are ...
The imperfect ideal
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Oct 24, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 161 161 recommendations | email to a friend
Chayei Sarah, Genesis 23:1-25:18 There is a certain wisdom to the way Torah presents our people’s heroes. Rather than the idealized figures found in many other religious traditions, the characters ...
Healing has its spiritual side
by Rabbi Donni C. Aaron, Jewish Community Center
Oct 16, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 155 155 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 I always teach my students that there is a Jewish prayer for everything in the world.  Inevitably, I have a child who likes to challenge me and asks me in a silly way, “I...
The souls they made
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman, Temple B’nai Israel, White Oak
Oct 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 158 158 recommendations | email to a friend
Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 What happens between the 11th and 12th chapters of Genesis? We read at the end of chapter 11 that Terach moves with his family, including Avram and Sarai, from Ur to ...