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torah commentary
Our top priority: Service to G-d
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...
Jan 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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Imperfect forgiveness
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...
Jan 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
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A tale of two Yossis
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...
Dec 29, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend
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Which is the greater Chanukah miracle?
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...
Dec 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend
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The name of a nation — Israel: preparedness and perseverance leads to triumph
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....
Dec 14, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
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Dedicated Ugandan rabbi gives us hope, inspiration
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...
Dec 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
What’s in a name?
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
Oct 22, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 217 217 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 This week, Parshat Lech Lecha, translated as “go forth,” chronicles the earliest part of the Abraham and Sarah biblical narrative. However, at the time of Ado...
We are not a country club
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Oct 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 218 218 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Noach, Genesis 6:9-11:32 Noah wasn’t Jewish. I find it interesting that our Torah began last week with Adam, not Abraham. It began with the first person, not the first Jew. We seem to forge...
Look to mythical truth for purposeful life
Oct 07, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 219 219 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bereishit, Genesis 1:1-6:8 This week we begin reading the Book of Genesis. We turn to this first book of the Torah as a template to explore some of the most important concepts in Judaism, n...
Holy history or sacred seeds?
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Oct 01, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 220 220 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Chol Ha-Moed Sukkot 33:12-34:26 The Three Festivals we celebrate are powerful connectors of the Jewish people across time and space. Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot each provide essential connec...
Ha’azinu ode on a biblical urn
by Rabbi David C. Novitsky
Sep 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 219 219 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52 This week’s Torah portion of Ha’azinu contains a poetic narrative, and then in its conclusion it describes the last days of Moses’ life as he stood on Moun...
The gift of our words
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Sep 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 223 223 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Turn, O Israel, toward the Eternal, your God, that you may confess to your transgressions. Take with you words and turn to God saying, sweep away in forgiv...
With help, support and inspiration
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Sep 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 221 221 recommendations | email to a friend
What are the prerequisites to convert to Judaism? If you could choose, what would they be? While some of our denominations have a very clear answer, others are more flexible. As a Reform rabbi, I h...
Choosing a path
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Sep 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 225 225 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 A person is led on the path that he (or she) truly wants to travel on. (Talmud Makkot 10b) If a person comes to purify him (or her) self, he (or she) will be ...
Cultivating compassion
by Rabbi Bryna Milkow
Aug 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 226 226 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 Among the 72 mitzvot that are delineated in the parasha of Ki Tetzei, there is one that some consider to be an “easy” mitzvah. In Deuteronomy 22:6-7 we learn, “If...
Righteousness, justice
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Aug 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 220 220 recommendations | email to a friend
Parashat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9, Isaiah 51:12-52:12 This year, I was fortunate to spend my eighth summer at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem studying with about 170 colleagues fro...