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torah commentary
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 | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
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What makes us count
Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 During my freshman year of college, I was one of the lucky ones. There it was in my mailbox waiting for me to be filled out, waiting for me to answer its many q...
Feb 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
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Both procedural and substantive justice thou shall pursue
In this week’s Torah portion, Jethro observes his son-in-law Moses judging the people while they stand and wait morning until evening. Both Moses and the litigants are worn out because of a legal s...
Feb 04, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend
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Enemies without and within
Parshat Beshallach, Exodus 13:17-17:16 “From the frying pan into the fire,” we used to say, going from one trouble to another. In this week’s Torah portion, our people experience such an amazing sa...
Jan 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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The divinity in us all
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 This week’s Torah Portion opens with God commanding Moses, bo el paraoh. Most English translations render this decree as, “Go to Pharaoh,” but in Hebrew the imperative...
Jan 21, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 125 125 recommendations | email to a friend
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Acting out of spite
Parshat Va’era, Exodus 6:2-9:3 “Pride comes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18) C.S. Lewis: “For pride is spiritual cancer: It eats up the very possibility ...
Jan 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 124 124 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
‘Friending’ the stranger
Shelach, Numbers 13:1-15:41
by Rabbi Scott Aaron
Agency for Jewish Learning
Jun 14, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend
In the rather cut-and-dry world of the Bible, one was identified by the people one was born in to, and kept that identity regardless of where one lived or whom one married. Israelites were Israelit...
The good, the bad, the opportunities
Be’ha-a-lot-cha (Numbers 8.1-12.16)
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Temple Sinai
Jun 08, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” So Charles Dickens wrote in his epic “Tale of Two Cities,” his novel of revolutionary France. We could say the same thing about so much of wha...
Lesson from the greater northeast
Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89
by Rabbi David C. Novitsky Beth Israel Congregation
Washington, Pa.
May 31, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend
I was born and raised in the largest shtetl in Pennsylvania known as northeast Philadelphia. The neighborhood was lined with a whole host of synagogues whose members were similar theologically and ...
Everyone counts
Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
May 24, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend
This week, we begin the fourth book of the Torah — Bamidbar. In the portion bearing the same name, Moses is commanded to take a census of the people, to couxnt all who are over the age of 20 and ab...
What’s it Worth to You?
B’har/B’hukkotai Leviticus 25:1 –27:34
by Cantor Richard Berlin
Parkway Jewish Center
May 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend
We live in a time of materialism. We put a value on everything, whether a financial portfolio, the financial burden and impact of welfare and food stamps, or the crushing impact on unemployment and...
Happy and holy Mother’s Day
Emor, Leviticus 21:1 - 24:23
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
May 10, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend
I write this D’var Torah on April 22. Today would have been my mother’s 95th birthday. We celebrated my mother’s last birthday in 2005 when my family gathered for Shabbat dinner at her residence at...
‘After death … there is holiness’
Parashat Acharei Mot - Kedoshim
by Rabbi Amy B. Hertz
Rodef Shalom Congregation
May 04, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend
In order to complete the reading of the Torah in a timely way this year, it is necessary to double up certain weekly Torah readings.  This week we read from a double portion, the combination of Par...
‘Icky, gooey, itchy’ parsha touts ageless role model
Tazra-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33    
by Rabbi Barbara Symons
Temple David, Monroeville
Apr 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend
“The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: ‘When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling, a rash or a discoloration, and it develops into a scaly affliction on the skin of his body, it sha...
Something to chew on
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47
by Rabbi Michael Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Apr 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend
The pursuit to find reasons for the mitzvot is long standing. As far back as the Mishna, the Talmud and Midrash, (second century B.C.E. to fifth century C.E.) the rabbis were looking for “ta’amei h...
Do the tithe thing
Passover, Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17; Numbers 28:19-25
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Apr 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend
The regular Torah reading for the eighth day of Passover discusses the consecration of all firstborn animals to God and the festival calendar, clearly connecting to the observance of the holiday. H...