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torah commentary
Words for us to hear
Parshat Va’etchanan Deuteronomy 3:23–7:11 What is the most universally known Hebrew phrase in the Jewish tradition? If you’ve been to a lot of Jewish weddings and b’nai mitzvah ceremonies, you migh...
Aug 04, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
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Living wills offer sense of strength, wholeness
Parshat Matot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-31:12 My son Harrison thinks it is strange when I say that helping families through the dying process and a funeral is one of the most rewarding parts of my rabbin...
Jul 21, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend
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The key to Jewish survival
Parashat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 When the Torah counts the Jewish people in this week’s Parsha (Pinchas), each family is counted individually. When the Torah says the name of each family, it pr...
Jul 12, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend
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When a curse is transformed into a prayer
Parashat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 What would we find in the Torah were we to open it up and look through its pages? Many would suggest we’d find “prayers.” As it happens, there are actually very fe...
Jul 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of acceptance
Parashat Chukat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 In the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, we break from the historical narrative of the Jewish people wandering in the desert. The Torah pauses to tell us a ...
Jun 28, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
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A new sheriff in town? Not so fast
Parshat Korach, Numbers 16:1–18:32 Since the beginning of recorded time there have always been political challenges to the leadership and the establishment of every society and institution. Moses a...
Jun 22, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 75 75 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Everybody counts
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Feb 24, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 411 411 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11-34:35 This we week read Parshat Ki Tisa. Sure, I could focus on something interesting, like the Golden Calf or the Second Set of Tablets or even the 13 Attributes Of G...
Power of the pomegranate
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Feb 17, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 410 410 recommendations | email to a friend
It is hard to open a pomegranate. There are YouTube videos explaining how to do it, which can come in handy given the pre-eminence given to this luscious, anti-oxidant, symbolic fruit. Not only is ...
Boxing God
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Feb 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 412 412 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Terumah, Exodus: 25:1-27:19 Imagine putting God in a box. Impossible? Not according to Parshat Terumah. Terumah delineates the specifications of this box, its dimensions and how it was made...
Double restitution
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Feb 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 410 410 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 One of the many laws we find in this week’s Torah portion of Mishpatim is the law of double restitution. The Torah tells us: If a thief is caught and the stolen...
Jumping in … for redemption
by Rabbi Joe Hample
Jan 20, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 406 406 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Beshalach, Exodus 13:17-17:6 I spent a couple of years as a prison chaplain in California. It wasn’t exactly the job rabbinical school prepared me for, but it had its moments. I’ll say this...
To teach our children
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Jan 13, 2016 | 1 1 comments | 418 418 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 We get to the heart of the matter in the second verse of our Parsha, Bo. Moses and Aaron are instructed to go before Pharaoh even though God will harden his heart to t...
What always changes yet ever remains the same?
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Jan 07, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 412 412 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 | 411 411 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 | 414 414 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 | 407 407 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...