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torah commentary
Words for us to hear
Parshat Va’etchanan Deuteronomy 3:23–7:11 What is the most universally known Hebrew phrase in the Jewish tradition? If you’ve been to a lot of Jewish weddings and b’nai mitzvah ceremonies, you migh...
Aug 04, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
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Living wills offer sense of strength, wholeness
Parshat Matot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-31:12 My son Harrison thinks it is strange when I say that helping families through the dying process and a funeral is one of the most rewarding parts of my rabbin...
Jul 21, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
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The key to Jewish survival
Parashat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 When the Torah counts the Jewish people in this week’s Parsha (Pinchas), each family is counted individually. When the Torah says the name of each family, it pr...
Jul 12, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
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When a curse is transformed into a prayer
Parashat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 What would we find in the Torah were we to open it up and look through its pages? Many would suggest we’d find “prayers.” As it happens, there are actually very fe...
Jul 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of acceptance
Parashat Chukat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 In the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, we break from the historical narrative of the Jewish people wandering in the desert. The Torah pauses to tell us a ...
Jun 28, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
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A new sheriff in town? Not so fast
Parshat Korach, Numbers 16:1–18:32 Since the beginning of recorded time there have always been political challenges to the leadership and the establishment of every society and institution. Moses a...
Jun 22, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Israel’s borders – from Torah or diplomacy?
by Rabbi James Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jul 24, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 202 202 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Being there in spirit
by Rabbi Jessica E. Locketz
Jul 16, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 192 192 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Seeing the big picture need not require standing on the vista
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons, Temple David
Jul 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 188 188 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Routine decisions can point us in the right direction
by Rabbi Donni C. Aaron
Jul 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 178 178 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
In each generation ...
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Jun 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 170 170 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
How can things go wrong? Let me count the ways
by Rabbi Audrey Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Jun 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Jerusalem the Holy
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs
May 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 156 156 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Something’s terribly wrong when a leaf is frightening
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
May 15, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 153 153 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bechukotai Leviticus 26:3-27:34 Bechukotai — literally “My law” — is the last parshah in Leviticus, functioning as an epilogue to the entire book. Through Moses, the Lord gives the people o...
Charity’s a choice, tzedakah isn’t
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
May 08, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 151 151 recommendations | email to a friend
If we find our neighbor in trouble, we must help him or her. This isn’t just being neighborly; this is the law, our law. To help someone who is in trouble is not a choice, it’s an obligation. If we...
'The Case of the Blasphemer'
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Apr 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 153 153 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Do you know the story, referred to as  “The Case of the Blasphemer”? Candidly,  I’d be surprised if you did. “The Case  of the Blasphemer” isn’t often included  in...