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torah commentary
Being there in spirit
Parshat Matot Numbers 30:2-32:42 In this week’s Torah portion, representatives of the Tribes of Reuben and Gad approach Moses. They have prospered on the east side of the Jordan. They have many her...
Jul 16, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Seeing the big picture need not require standing on the vista
Parshat Pinchas Numbers 25:10-30:1 In this week’s Torah portion, God commands Moses to ascend the hills from the other side of the Jordan River and look into the land of Israel. God reminds him tha...
Jul 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Routine decisions can point us in the right direction
Parshat Balak Numbers 22:2-25:9 In this week’s Torah reading, King Balak of Moab retains the sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people. Instead of curses, only blessings come out of his mouth. Whe...
Jul 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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In each generation ...
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 One of the major events related in Parshat Chukat is the death of Miriam, the older sister of Moses and Aaron. Immediately after this, we read that the Israelites w...
Jun 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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How can things go wrong? Let me count the ways
German is the most frustrating language. I’ve done Russian, French and Hebrew. I’ve learned new alphabets, switched from left to right. But nothing beats a complex German sentence to make a new stu...
Jun 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Jerusalem the Holy
R Bamidbar The capital cities of every nation on earth are built on major trade routes or rivers.   They became capitals because they were centers of commerce and easily accessible. Jerusalem is th...
May 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Temper mercy with anger when the kvetching starts
Shelach, Numbers 13:1-15:41
by Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner
Temple Shalom, Wheeling, W.Va.
Jun 16, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
Kvetching is a great Yiddish word. It’s robust and full of flavor. And it’s something we find plenty of in this week’s Torah portion, Shelach. Twelve scouts are sent by G-d to the land of Canaan to...
‘Yitro Phenomenon’ is still with us
Behalotecha, Numbers 8:1-12:16
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
New Light Congregation
Jun 10, 2011 | 1 1 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
“I have always believed I was Jewish,” Cathy said. This was her real reason for converting to Judaism, she confided to me. Though her ancestors came many generations ago from Sweden, she believed t...
Priestly blessing a reminder of 'shaddai,' 'shalom' Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Jun 02, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Brought to You by the Letter ”Shin” (with thanks to the sofer Neil Yerman). Probably one of the best-known blessings comes from this Shabbat’s Torah portion: “May the Lord bless you and keep you. M...
Numbered or Innumerable? Bemidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20
by Rabbi Jamie Gibson, Temple Sinai
May 26, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
In this week’s parasha, Bemidbar, a census is called for to divide the Israelites up into their tribes and fighting units. The numbers are carefully counted, except for the Levites, who will not be...
Different ways to give, Parashat Behukotai, Leviticus 26:3-27:34
by Rabbi Art Donsky, Temple Ohav Shalom
May 23, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
In the final chapter of Sefer Vayikra (Leviticus) in Parashat Behukotai we are presented with a description of three types of gifts that can be given for the sanctuary. The first type of gift is gi...
Jubilee reminds us we’re equal
Behar, Leviticus 25:1 — 26:2
by Rabbi Stephanie Wolfe
Beth Samuel Jewish Center
May 12, 2011 | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
This week’s Parsha, behar, teaches us about the shmitah and Jubilee years for the Israelites. In the initial descriptions, these laws apply to the land and how we must give the land a rest every se...
G-O-D spells 'God'
Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Beth El Congregation
May 05, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Not “G-d.” At least for me. Yes, when I was younger and attended yeshiva in Detroit, it was “G-d.” God was also “Hashem,” “Adoshem,” “Elokeinu” etc. Anything but “God.” My first year at Michigan St...
Being Nachshon leads to holiness
Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27
by Rabbi Michael Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Apr 28, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
Throughout much of the book of Vayikra (Leviticus) we speak of biblical issues of ritual impurity, which could be transferred from one person to another. These impurities could also be transferred ...
With thanks and memory
Shabbat Hol HaMoed
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Apr 22, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Like most good stories, this one has passed through many storytellers. It is said to have originated with Shlomo Carlebach: Many years ago, a little 7-year old boy and his family were about to leav...
Faith matters, rabbi’s social work teaches
Achare Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Temple Sinai
Apr 14, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
There is so much to do in preparation for Pesach with all of the cleaning and cooking, the cleaning and arranging, the cleaning and inviting, the cleaning setting the table. With all there is to do...