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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 | 9 9 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 | 16 16 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 | 23 23 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 | 29 29 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 | 36 36 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 | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
The meaning of ritual
by By Rabbi Joe Hample
Mar 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 138 138 recommendations | email to a friend
This week we begin the Book of Leviticus: “The Eternal called Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel.’” This book is for the children of Israel. I...
Talented in our own ways
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Mar 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 147 147 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayakhel-Pekude, Exodus 38:21-40:38 Every time I have to draw a picture, especially of the map of Israel, my students laugh. I am not an artist. Art was a required course in high school and...
A different Moses emerges for all time
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Mar 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 153 153 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ki Tisa Exodus 30:11-34:35 What is the significance of the dazzling radiance of Moses’ face and why did it not attain this shining glow until he received the second tablets on Yom Kippur? A...
The divine fragrance of memory
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Feb 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 154 154 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10 The Book of Exodus describes six ritual objects designed for use in the mishkan, the Taberncle: the Ark of the Covenant, the sacrificial altar, the menorah, the...
The gift of Cuban resiliency
by Rabbi Barbara Symons
Feb 18, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 159 159 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19 “Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him. And these a...
What makes us count
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Feb 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 165 165 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 During my freshman year of college, I was one of the lucky ones. There it was in my mailbox waiting for me to be filled out, waiting for me to answer its many q...
Both procedural and substantive justice thou shall pursue
by Rabbi David Novitsky
Feb 04, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 171 171 recommendations | email to a friend
In this week’s Torah portion, Jethro observes his son-in-law Moses judging the people while they stand and wait morning until evening. Both Moses and the litigants are worn out because of a legal s...
Enemies without and within
by Rabbi James Gibson
Jan 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 170 170 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Beshallach, Exodus 13:17-17:16 “From the frying pan into the fire,” we used to say, going from one trouble to another. In this week’s Torah portion, our people experience such an amazing sa...
The divinity in us all
by Rabbi Aaron Benjamin Bisno
Jan 21, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 254 254 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 This week’s Torah Portion opens with God commanding Moses, bo el paraoh. Most English translations render this decree as, “Go to Pharaoh,” but in Hebrew the imperative...
Acting out of spite
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Jan 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 245 245 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Va’era, Exodus 6:2-9:3 “Pride comes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18) C.S. Lewis: “For pride is spiritual cancer: It eats up the very possibility ...