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torah commentary
Where there is no leader, strive to be a leader
Parashat Sheleach, Numbers 13:1-15:41 In the first aliyah of this week’s parshah Shelach Lecha, God speaks to Moses telling him to “send men … everyone a leader among them” to spy upon the land. Th...
Jun 14, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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Seeking the right kind of leader
Parashat Beha'alotcha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 The Jewish people seemed poised for entry into the Promised Land when suddenly, “the nation became a group of kvetchers, complaining evilly in the ears of t...
Jun 07, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
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Only God blesses and we are all holy
Parashat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 “That man has no right to bless me! He’s a no-good good-for-nothing!” Ah, the good old days. The days of duchening. The days when the Kohanim (those of priestly lin...
Jun 01, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
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The degalim: an orchestra in harmony
Parashat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 In the parsha, we read of the instructions to Israel on how to camp and travel. They were arranged around the central point, the mishkan, the tabernacle. Each tr...
May 24, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend
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Even the land of Israel must keep the Sabbath
Parashat Behar-Behukotai, Leviticus, 25:1-27:34 “I am the Lord your God who brought you forth from the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan to be your God” (Leviticus 25:38). Citing the ver...
May 17, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
What always changes yet ever remains the same?
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Jan 07, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 354 354 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 Sometime circa 1987, my uncle sent me a video cassette (remember them?) of a home movie he had made with his 8-mm camera (remember them?) of my family’s Fourth of Jul...
The wonder of life
by Cantor Henry Shapiro
Dec 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 353 353 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 As we open a new book, a new season, a new year, I can’t help but feel we’re in a movie sequel. We have a new generation and a new cast of characters, yet the details...
Joseph, the wonder boy
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
Dec 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 356 356 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26 Joseph is not shy about sharing his dreams and prophecies with the public. He understands prophecy as a gift that ought to guide and give vision to his growing ...
A public figure’s private life: ‘Inquiring minds want to know’
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Dec 17, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 349 349 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 “Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone withdraw from me!’ So there was no one else about when Jose...
Chanukah: ours, theirs or something else
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Dec 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 348 348 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41:1 - 44:17 There is a Christmas song entitled “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  For us Jews, I disagree. This time of year can be confusing, difficult, but not ...
The dreamers among us
by Rabbi Seth Adelson
Dec 03, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 348 348 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayyeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 “You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one” Embedded in John Lennon’s idealistic song is a little dig at dreamers: The line suggests that to call so...
Humility and Thanksgiving
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Nov 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 344 344 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat VaYishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43 Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. — Confucius Our forefather Jacob feared his upcoming reunion with his brother Esau. Years before, Esau had vo...
Let’s make a deal!
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Nov 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 352 352 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayetsei, Genesis 28:10-32:3 In this week’s portion, parashat Vayetsei, it seems that everyone is trying to pull a fast one on someone else. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Leah instead of...
‘A Prophetess Among Us’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin
Nov 10, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 354 354 recommendations | email to a friend
In the Hitchcock classic “Psycho,” we are treated to a grand misdirection. For the first half-hour of the film, we follow the story of Marion Crane, a bored and frustrated Phoenix secretary who ste...
What will they say when?
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Nov 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 352 352 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chayei Sara, 23:1-25:18 Not to be morbid, but it is time for me to start thinking about what they might say at my funeral. Trust me, I have many years left (God willing), but it is still ti...