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torah commentary
An easy choice?
Parashat Re'eh “And God said, I have set before you today a choice: a blessing or a curse.” Now who in their right mind would choose a curse over a blessing? Throughout our Torah there are many lis...
Aug 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Using our memories as a guide
Parshat Ekev Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 When you look back at the current conflict in Israel, what will you remember? Will it be a focus on the missiles coming into Israel or those going out?  On Iron ...
Aug 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Change of Mood
After the tragedy of Tisha B’Av, our mood changes. This Shabbat is called Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of Consolation. It takes its name from the words of Isaiah: “Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people...
Aug 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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Reason together
Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 My spiritual quest began in my lonely college years. If my peers didn’t understand me, maybe God would. I got involved with Hillel, took some Hebrew, went on a ...
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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Meaningful midrash of Tisha B’av
The story of Kansa and Bar Kamsa (Talmud Gittin, 55) illustrates the divided nature of the Jewish people that ultimately led to the terrible destruction of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem on Tisha B’a...
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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Israel’s borders – from Torah or diplomacy?
Mas’ei Numbers 33.1-36.15 In Mas-ei, which ends the book of Bemidar, our Torah outlines specific borders to the land promised by God to our people, a promise extending all the way back to Avraham a...
Jul 24, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Where did the raven go?
Genesis 6:9-11:32
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Temple Sinai
Oct 27, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
The story of Noah and the flood is often presented as a children’s tale, something so fabulous and unbelievable we expect kids to be awed and adults to strain to suspend their disbelief. The story ...
The unforgiven
Shabbat Shuva, Haazinu, Deuteronomy, 32:1-52
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Oct 06, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
We must blindly forgive others, because God is forgiving, right? Wrong. Where in our Torah is God so forgiving? Whenever we did something wrong, God immediately punished us. I cannot recall one tim...
Seeing God’s love
Haazinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52
by Rabbi Mike Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Sep 29, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
Congratulations! We have all made it to the first Shabbat of 5772. For the past week (or more) we have been wishing each other, “L’shana tova tikateyvu,” (may you be inscribed for a good year). Now...
We stand together …
Nitzavim-Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Sep 21, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
We are standing, all of us, in a circle. Spontaneously, we start singing “Lechi Lach,” to our teacher who is leaving. We send our hopes that she continues to “go forth,” that she is a blessing to h...
First fruits
Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Director of Lifelong Learning
Temple Sinai
Sep 15, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
There are so many firsts for all of us at this time of year: first days of school, first leaves turning, first football games (Go Steelers!). For Jews, this perennial season of firsts finds its ori...
Matchmakers must remember why they do their job
Ki Tetze, 21:10-25:19
by Rabbi Martin William Shorr
Temple Hadar Israel, New Castle
Sep 08, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
This week's Torah portion talks about the laws of a sad, but real situation -- divorce. There are opinions from various rabbis in the Talmud relating to divorce. Interestingly, because there is a p...
Torah is Israel's first line of defense
Parshat Shofteem Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs
UPMC Shadyside
Sep 01, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Most Jews are concerned with Israel's safety and security, but what is the mostessential element of that security? Is it a well-trained and well-equipped Israel Defense Forces? Perhaps the Shin Bet...
Little things mean a lot
Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Jewish Association on Aging
Aug 18, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
“Blow me a kiss from across the room Say I look nice when I’m not Touch my hair as you pass my chair Little things mean a lot…” “Little Things Mean a Lot” was a popular song, recorded by Kitty Kall...
Practice loving God
Vaetchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Aug 11, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
In this week’s Torah portion, Vaetchanan, Moses is in the midst of giving his final words of instruction to the Children of Israel before his death. In an effort to ensure loyalty of the people of ...
Believing in God regardless of proof
Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
by Rabbi Scott Aaron
Agency for Jewish Learning
Aug 03, 2011 | 1 1 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
This week, we begin studying the fifth book of the Torah, Devarim, which is also the name of this week’s portion. It was the custom of our ancestors to name books and Torah portions after the first...