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torah commentary
Holy history or sacred seeds?
Shabbat Chol Ha-Moed Sukkot 33:12-34:26 The Three Festivals we celebrate are powerful connectors of the Jewish people across time and space. Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot each provide essential connec...
Oct 01, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Ha’azinu ode on a biblical urn
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52 This week’s Torah portion of Ha’azinu contains a poetic narrative, and then in its conclusion it describes the last days of Moses’ life as he stood on Moun...
Sep 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of our words
Parshat Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Turn, O Israel, toward the Eternal, your God, that you may confess to your transgressions. Take with you words and turn to God saying, sweep away in forgiv...
Sep 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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With help, support and inspiration
What are the prerequisites to convert to Judaism? If you could choose, what would they be? While some of our denominations have a very clear answer, others are more flexible. As a Reform rabbi, I h...
Sep 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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Choosing a path
Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 A person is led on the path that he (or she) truly wants to travel on. (Talmud Makkot 10b) If a person comes to purify him (or her) self, he (or she) will be ...
Sep 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Cultivating compassion
Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 Among the 72 mitzvot that are delineated in the parasha of Ki Tetzei, there is one that some consider to be an “easy” mitzvah. In Deuteronomy 22:6-7 we learn, “If...
Aug 27, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Rejoice in freedom, not in others’ misfortune
by Rabbi Amy B. Hertz
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jan 17, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend
Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, describes the final three of the ten plagues that befell the land of Egypt and its people during the Israelites fight for freedom from ...
An imperfect leader – and that’s OK
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jan 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend
Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 Moses was not perfect.  This is such a simple statement to make, so easy to understand.  “Of course, Moses wasn’t perfect, he was a human being,” you tell me.  How could he b...
The three signs
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Jan 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend
Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 Moshe was called by G-d to be the leader of Israel, and to take out the Israelites from Egypt. But he objected that the Israelites would not believe him when he would tell th...
Flour and Torah
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Dec 27, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 67 67 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayechi, 47:28-50:26 There is a famous Hebrew saying: “Without flour, there is no Torah; without Torah, there is no flour.” ( Pirke Avot 3:21) The first part means that a person needs to be realist...
Recognizing the need to change
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Dec 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayigash 44:18-47:27 This week’s Torah portion Vayigash is about recognition. Specifically, the story concerns Joseph and his brothers at the moment when those who had earlier sold a younger Joseph...
G-d was with us then — and now
by Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner, Temple Shalom, Wheeling, W.Va.
Dec 13, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend
Mikeitz 41:1-44:17 We are in the middle of celebrating one of our most joyous holidays — Chanuka. Chanuka is fun to celebrate, whether we are young or old, for we all enjoy lighting our chanukkiot,...
Who was that man?
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman, Temple B’nai Israel, White Oak
Dec 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 85 85 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 Joseph, at Jacob’s request, travels to find his elder brothers who are tending Jacob’s flocks. “A man” finds Joseph wandering in the fields (Genesis 37:15) and helps hi...
Time to talk
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Nov 28, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 87 87 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43 This week’s parsha contains a troubling story.  I had been taught that it so bothered the rabbis that the tradition was to read the disturbing part straight through w...
I believe in angels
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman, New Light Congregation
Nov 21, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 90 90 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayetze, Genesis 28:10-32:3 Jake was fired from his job this week.  After 18 months of investment and work with the new company, and moving across the country with his family, it turned out that Ja...
All in the family
by /bookmark/20749056-
Nov 14, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 90 90 recommendations | email to a friend
Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 “Hafokh ba, v’hafokh ba,” our sages teach us — turn it, and turn it again, for all is in our Torah. More than the ritual laws and ethical precepts that form the basis of ...