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torah commentary
Monotheism and the problem of truth
Shabbat Nachamu, Parshat Etchanon, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 “You shall have no other gods beside Me!” This is the first of aseret hadibrot, literally the “Ten Declarations” or “Ten Commandments” found...
Aug 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of ‘Solomon’s time’
Shabbat Chazon, Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Every year, Jews, as we have for more than two millenia, observe the fast of the Ninth of Av, marking the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, the...
Aug 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
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(Re)ordering our priorities
Parshat Mattot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 In this week’s double portion, Matot-Ma’asei, it seems that our biblical ancestors have questionable priorities. As plans get underway for the eventual move...
Aug 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of a unified community
Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 This parshah seems to be a hodgepodge of loosely connected or disconnected themes. The reward for Pinchas, the order to attack Midian (that actual attack is defe...
Jul 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend
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Miracle tales
Parshat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!” These beloved words in praise of Jewish community, which have become part of our everyday liturgy,...
Jul 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
It all adds up
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
May 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 96 96 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 Gematria explains a word or group of words according to the numerical equivalent of its letters. Alef = 1, bet = 2, gimmel = 3, etc. Both the Babylonians and Greeks ...
We were all at Mount Sinai
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
May 20, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 104 104 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bemidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 “And God said to us at Mount Sinai, ‘Today you stand before Me, all of you, your leaders and your followers, your children and your wives, even the stranger; all ...
Rest is a must for healthy, spiritual living
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
May 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 103 103 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Behar-Bechukotai, Leviticus 25:1-27:34 With this week’s double Torah portion of Behar-Bechukotai, we finish the book of Vayikra, or Leviticus. The verses in Behar detail the Holy One’s comm...
The joy of Lag b’Omer
by Rabbi Doris Dyen
May 06, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 102 102 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Sometimes the Jewish calendar provides us with mind-bending juxtapositions. This week’s parshah is Emor, full of restrictions about approaching the Holy. And we’r...
After a death … you shall strive to be holy
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Apr 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 105 105 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27 I am certain that you have asked the question and that you have heard the question just as I have, “How will I go on after she/he dies?” It is amo...
What lies beneath
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin
Apr 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 106 106 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 We often hear it said in conversation that “beauty is only skin deep” and that we should look beyond physical appearance to judge the true character of ...
What’s for dinner?
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Apr 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 110 110 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 Parshat Shemini begins with the rites for inaugurating the priesthood and Aaron as the first high priest, certainly a seminal moment in the religious life of th...
Rabbi Eli Seidman
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Apr 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 116 116 recommendations | email to a friend
Acharon Shel Pesach “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead th...
From slavery to freedom: Pesach and Yom Hashoah
Mar 31, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 120 120 recommendations | email to a friend
Every year, within a week of emerging from Passover’s journey from slavery to freedom, we gather together as a community to remember and to mourn on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. The proximi...
Spiritual cleansing can accompany the physical one
by By Rabbi Sharyn Henry Parshat Tzav Leviticus 6:1-8:36
Mar 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 129 129 recommendations | email to a friend
This Shabbat, the last Shabbat before Pesach, is known as Shabbat HaGadol — “the Big Shabbat,” “the Great Shabbat.” The exact origin and purpose of this distinction have been debated by sages for m...