facebook
twitter

needayoutubeicon donate

torah commentary
Approaching Yom Kippur, a thorough scrubbing for the New Year
Why does Rosh Hashanah precede Yom Kippur? You would think that if our sins were instantly forgiven on Yom Kippur, we would be in a better position on Rosh Hashanah to be inscribed for a new year o...
Oct 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
full story
Return again
Parshat Nitzavim/Vayelech Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Atah nitzavim, you are standing, all of you, this day before God. You, your leaders, and the most humble of the people.” So begins this week’s Tora...
Sep 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
full story
The importance of ethical wills
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1-52 At the end of his life, Moses addresses us, the Israelites, for the last time in the Torah portion of Ha’azinu. He recounts the blessings that we have enjoyed a...
Sep 28, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
full story
Know it in your heart
Parsaht Ki Tavo Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 How long is a minute? When I was a child, my friends and I would test each other: Did we know how long a minute was? Of course we knew that a minute equaled 60...
Sep 09, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
full story
An easy choice?
Parashat Re'eh “And God said, I have set before you today a choice: a blessing or a curse.” Now who in their right mind would choose a curse over a blessing? Throughout our Torah there are many lis...
Aug 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
full story
Using our memories as a guide
Parshat Ekev Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 When you look back at the current conflict in Israel, what will you remember? Will it be a focus on the missiles coming into Israel or those going out?  On Iron ...
Aug 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
full story
Archives
Wearing tzitzit a suka of peace
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer, Congregation B’nai Abraham, Butler
May 30, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend
Shelach Lecha, Numbers 13:1–15:41 This week’s parsha contains the well-known story of the 12 spies sent into Canaan to assess the strength of the indigenous people and the productivity of the land....
No inconsequential kindness
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs, UPMC Shadyside
May 23, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
Beha-Alotekha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 When Miriam the prophetess sinned and was afflicted with tza’raas [a spiritual ‘leprosy-like’ disease], she was required to remain outside the camp. During her reco...
Broken promises addressed by Torah
by Rabbi Martin William Shorr, Temple Hadar Israel, New Castle
May 17, 2013 | 2 2 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend
Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 Parsha Naso is interesting. While a great deal of the sedra refers to its name, identifying the offerings and count of the leaders of each tribe, or nasiam, there are isolat...
Our firstborn no longer belong to God
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
May 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend
Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 Once upon a time, a long time ago, every firstborn belonged to God. We were always supposed to give the first of all “our fruits” to God, literally. Now, let’s go way bac...
Shabbat as a utopian ideal
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation
May 02, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
Behar-Behukotai, Leviticus 25:1-27:34 This week’s Torah reading is drawn from a double portion, Behar-Behukotai. Behar is associated with the laws of sabbatical; that is, we are instructed to allow...
You kiss your mother with that mouth? Blasphemy then and now
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Apr 25, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23 This week’s portion ends with a troubling story of blasphemy, social isolation and death.  (I know … a lot of our Torah portions have troubling stories of blasp...
‘Can’t we all just get along?’
by Rabbi James Gibson, Temple Sinai
Apr 18, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Achare Mot–Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27 Those famous words, “Can’t we all just get along?” were plaintively said by Rodney King, whose beating at the hands of the Los Angeles Police more than 20 ...
Getting it together
by Rabbi Joe Hample, Tree of Life Congregation, Morgantown, W.Va.
Apr 10, 2013 | 1 1 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 Just between you and me, I feel a lot of ambivalence.  I’m full of faith and doubt, calm and stress, gloom and hope.  I’m an introverted extrovert, a sloppy per...
That which enters your mouth is also important
by Rabbi David Novitsky, Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa
Apr 04, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 There are those who believe that the Jewish dietary laws were given to the people of Israel primarily for health concerns.  They maintain that the unclean animals enume...
A lingering lesson
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 29, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend
Chol Hamoed Pesach Without a doubt, Passover is my favorite holiday. Food was always at the center of my family’s celebration and remembrance of our people’s journey from slavery to freedom (yours ...