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torah commentary
When you’re here, you’re family
Parashat Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Since Judaism teaches that all Jews are responsible for each other, the hemorrhaging of the number of diaspora Jews actively involved in Jewish life — or even ide...
May 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
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After death — holiness
Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim Leviticus 16:1-20:27 “Would you like to identify the body?” The question struck me as more than strange. I was a new young rabbi, but knowledgeable enough about Jewish ...
May 04, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
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It is up to us to stay morally vigilant
Parashat Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 In this week’s Torah reading, Parshas Tazria, we read about tzaraat, commonly mistranslated “leprosy.” This was a miraculous skin eruption that would o...
Apr 27, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
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Nothing to fear but fear itself
Parashat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 This week we read the portion of Shemini, in which the Mishkan, the Tabernacle for the Almighty, is inaugurated and Aaron the High Priest leads the service for...
Apr 20, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend
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Silence is more than golden
Chol Hamoed, Pesach: Exodus 33:12 - 34:26, Numbers 28:19-25 The last days of the festival of Passover are dedicated to the splitting of the Reed Sea, one of the most dramatic and cataclysmic events...
Apr 19, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend
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With Elijah’s help, do it for the children
Parshat Tzav, Shabbat HaGadol, Leviticus 6:1-8:36 The Shabbat before Passover is called Shabbat Hagadol (the Great Sabbath), a phrase deriving from the last verse of the prophetic portion read on t...
Apr 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Because we love, we grieve
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Nov 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 149 149 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chayei Sarah, Genesis 23:1-25:18 Our matriarch Sarah dies in the beginning of the Torah portion Chayei Sarah, and Abraham dies at the end. In between, we read about the events leading to th...
Despite all obstacles, never give up
by Rabbi Levi Langer
Nov 17, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 147 147 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 In this week’s Torah portion our forefather Abraham undergoes the greatest challenge of his life: He is called upon to surrender his son to the Almighty.  Abraham...
The making of a covenant with men and women
by Dr. Ellen M. Umansky
Nov 10, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 159 159 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:28 Almost 25 years after God calls Abram to leave his home in Mesopotamia and go to the land of Canaan, God formally establishes a covenant with him. Like that e...
Being the right kind of agnostic
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Nov 02, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 164 164 recommendations | email to a friend
Parashat Noach, Genesis 6:9-11:32 When it comes to questions of belief, the agnostic is the loneliest of all. On one side of the fence stands the atheist, confident in his rejection of God and ofte...
Being a part of creation without destroying it
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Oct 27, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 180 180 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bereshit, Genesis 1:1-6:8 In six days, God created the world and then rested. However, we have not rested. We God-inspired humans use technology, competition and at times hubris to continue...
Happiness is a choice, not a chase
by Rabbi Mendy Schapiro
Oct 19, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 177 177 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Sukkot, Leviticus 22:26-23:44, Numbers 29:12 - 29:16 This brief but bold phrase that has become such a part of the fabric of our society seems in some way to mirror our Jewish holidays of t...
A failure of leadership and Moses’ downfall
by Rabbi Reuven Firestone
Oct 13, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 186 186 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ha’azinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52 This is one of the shorter sections of the Torah, and it is made up almost entirely of a breathtaking and chastening poem. The term “awesome” tends to be overu...
Yom Kippur as festive wedding day
by Rabbi Yisroel Altein
Oct 05, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 197 197 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayeilech, Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30 This week we will be celebrating Yom Kippur. More Jews will be going to a synagogue on this day than any other day in the year. How can we be sure that we ...
Standing together for what is right
by Rabbi Chuck Diamond
Sep 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 206 206 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 Atem nitzavim hayom kulchem — these words that I practiced over and over again some 48 years ago as I trained for my bar mitzvah. These words that my whole ...
Upward and onward … and don’t look back!
by Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel
Sep 22, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 209 209 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 One of the most beautiful and popular verses in Torah is found in this week’s Parshah, Ki Tavo. In the midst of showering the People of Israel with blessings,...