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torah commentary
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 | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of memory, especially to our history
Parshaht Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32 In this week’s Torah portion, a rebellion breaks out against Moses’ leadership, led by the Levite Korach, Reubenites Dathan and Abiram and 250 chieftains of the ...
Jul 06, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
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When the minority gets it right
Parshat Shelach Numbers, 13:1-15:41 This week’s Torah portion is Shelach, the story of the 12 spies, sent by Moses to explore and learn more about the Promised Land — this land G-d had promised our...
Jun 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
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The power — and importance — of words
Aaron and Miriam are speaking to each other. They criticize their brother for having married a Kushite woman.  God becomes angry at their speech and calls them to the Tent of Meeting. He chastises ...
Jun 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend
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The power of uplift, to make a day brighter
Parshat Nasso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 A few weeks ago at a shiva home, I heard a bereaved mother speak lovingly of her beloved daughter, Rivka. She related how, until Rivka’s funeral, she hadn’t fully a...
Jun 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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Look into the eyes
Parshat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 It was quite an endeavor. Moses was commanded to count every male of Israel over the age of 20 who was able to serve in the army. He was some 82 years old and rec...
Jun 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Rejoice in freedom, not in others’ misfortune
by Rabbi Amy B. Hertz
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jan 17, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend
Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, describes the final three of the ten plagues that befell the land of Egypt and its people during the Israelites fight for freedom from ...
An imperfect leader – and that’s OK
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jan 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend
Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 Moses was not perfect.  This is such a simple statement to make, so easy to understand.  “Of course, Moses wasn’t perfect, he was a human being,” you tell me.  How could he b...
The three signs
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Jan 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend
Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 Moshe was called by G-d to be the leader of Israel, and to take out the Israelites from Egypt. But he objected that the Israelites would not believe him when he would tell th...
Flour and Torah
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Dec 27, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 67 67 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayechi, 47:28-50:26 There is a famous Hebrew saying: “Without flour, there is no Torah; without Torah, there is no flour.” ( Pirke Avot 3:21) The first part means that a person needs to be realist...
Recognizing the need to change
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Dec 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayigash 44:18-47:27 This week’s Torah portion Vayigash is about recognition. Specifically, the story concerns Joseph and his brothers at the moment when those who had earlier sold a younger Joseph...
G-d was with us then — and now
by Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner, Temple Shalom, Wheeling, W.Va.
Dec 13, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend
Mikeitz 41:1-44:17 We are in the middle of celebrating one of our most joyous holidays — Chanuka. Chanuka is fun to celebrate, whether we are young or old, for we all enjoy lighting our chanukkiot,...
Who was that man?
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman, Temple B’nai Israel, White Oak
Dec 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 85 85 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 Joseph, at Jacob’s request, travels to find his elder brothers who are tending Jacob’s flocks. “A man” finds Joseph wandering in the fields (Genesis 37:15) and helps hi...
Time to talk
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Nov 28, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 87 87 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43 This week’s parsha contains a troubling story.  I had been taught that it so bothered the rabbis that the tradition was to read the disturbing part straight through w...
I believe in angels
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman, New Light Congregation
Nov 21, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 90 90 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayetze, Genesis 28:10-32:3 Jake was fired from his job this week.  After 18 months of investment and work with the new company, and moving across the country with his family, it turned out that Ja...
All in the family
by /bookmark/20749056-
Nov 14, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 90 90 recommendations | email to a friend
Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 “Hafokh ba, v’hafokh ba,” our sages teach us — turn it, and turn it again, for all is in our Torah. More than the ritual laws and ethical precepts that form the basis of ...