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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 | 22 22 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 | 40 40 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 | 50 50 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 | 56 56 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 | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
First steps on the path to the Promised Land
by Rabbi Ana Bonnheim
Feb 09, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 171 171 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Beshalach, Exodus 13:17 - 17:16 Redemption! Parshat Beshalach is a Torah portion of glory — glory in the Song at the Sea, the poetic celebration of liberation from Egyptian bondage, and glo...
Genealogy only goes so far
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Feb 01, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 169 169 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 Why is the killing of the firstborn the final, and most significant, plague? True, it brought death into every household, rattling Egypt at its foundations, but certai...
A condemnation of one’s own making
by Rabbi Elchonon Friedman
Jan 25, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 192 192 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 During this past summer I had the opportunity to spend a Shabbat with the Yeshiva High School boys at Camp Twin Echo in the Laurel Highlands. After Shabbat I stopped ...
Moshe’s curious mind
by Rabbi Amy Bardack
Jan 19, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 183 183 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 A new Pharaoh has risen.  The people Israel are enslaved and oppressed, and their very lives are in danger.  Into this frightening reality, a baby is born who then be...
Our top priority: Service to G-d
by Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld and Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld
Jan 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 176 176 recommendations | email to a friend
The Torah portion this week relates a fascinating exchange between father and son. Jacob was lying on his deathbed when he turned to his second to the youngest son, Joseph, whom at the time was the...
Imperfect forgiveness
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
Jan 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 185 185 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 The story of Joseph and his brothers is a story of life and death. The brothers seek to destroy Joseph; a famine attacks the land; Joseph as Egyptian prime min...
A tale of two Yossis
by Rabbi Daniel Yolkut
Dec 29, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 199 199 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41;1-44;17 One of the most remarkable features of the laws of Chanukah is their focus on the home. The Talmud (Shabbat 21a) formulates the core obligation of Chanukah as bei...
Which is the greater Chanukah miracle?
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Dec 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 208 208 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 As we prepare for the festival of Chanukah — which commences at the conclusion of the upcoming Sabbath — it behooves us to revisit the significance of the light...
The name of a nation — Israel: preparedness and perseverance leads to triumph
by Rabbi Shimon Silver
Dec 14, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 211 211 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43 The Torah teaches us that Yaakov prepared on three fronts, in the face of the looming confrontation with Eisav. He prepared a gift, to hopefully soften Eisav....
Dedicated Ugandan rabbi gives us hope, inspiration
by Rabbi Amy Greenbaum
Dec 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 218 218 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayetzei, Genesis 25:19-28:9 Can you imagine, if, in order to make a meal, you had to walk four miles round trip to get the water, another couple of miles to collect the firewood, harvest y...