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torah commentary
Our top priority: Service to G-d
The Torah portion this week relates a fascinating exchange between father and son. Jacob was lying on his deathbed when he turned to his second to the youngest son, Joseph, whom at the time was the...
Jan 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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Imperfect forgiveness
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 The story of Joseph and his brothers is a story of life and death. The brothers seek to destroy Joseph; a famine attacks the land; Joseph as Egyptian prime min...
Jan 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
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A tale of two Yossis
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41;1-44;17 One of the most remarkable features of the laws of Chanukah is their focus on the home. The Talmud (Shabbat 21a) formulates the core obligation of Chanukah as bei...
Dec 29, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend
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Which is the greater Chanukah miracle?
Parshat Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 As we prepare for the festival of Chanukah — which commences at the conclusion of the upcoming Sabbath — it behooves us to revisit the significance of the light...
Dec 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend
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The name of a nation — Israel: preparedness and perseverance leads to triumph
Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43 The Torah teaches us that Yaakov prepared on three fronts, in the face of the looming confrontation with Eisav. He prepared a gift, to hopefully soften Eisav....
Dec 14, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
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Dedicated Ugandan rabbi gives us hope, inspiration
Parshat Vayetzei, Genesis 25:19-28:9 Can you imagine, if, in order to make a meal, you had to walk four miles round trip to get the water, another couple of miles to collect the firewood, harvest y...
Dec 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Something’s terribly wrong when a leaf is frightening
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
May 15, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 152 152 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bechukotai Leviticus 26:3-27:34 Bechukotai — literally “My law” — is the last parshah in Leviticus, functioning as an epilogue to the entire book. Through Moses, the Lord gives the people o...
Charity’s a choice, tzedakah isn’t
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
May 08, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 150 150 recommendations | email to a friend
If we find our neighbor in trouble, we must help him or her. This isn’t just being neighborly; this is the law, our law. To help someone who is in trouble is not a choice, it’s an obligation. If we...
'The Case of the Blasphemer'
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Apr 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 152 152 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Do you know the story, referred to as  “The Case of the Blasphemer”? Candidly,  I’d be surprised if you did. “The Case  of the Blasphemer” isn’t often included  in...
Fire, Brimstone and Positive Acts
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Apr 24, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 152 152 recommendations | email to a friend
  Parshat Kedoshim Leviticus 19:1-20:27 This week’s Torah portion, Kedoshim, starts with one of the most-oft quoted verses of the Torah: “Speak to all the people of Israel and say to them that you ...
Why is this Shabbat Different from All Other Shabbatot?
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Apr 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 156 156 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Acharei Mot/Shabbat haGadol – Leviticus 16:1-18:30 One of the primary features of this week’s parshah, Acharei Mot, is the description of the rituals by which Aaron, the high priest, would ...
You changed my sackcloth into robes of joy
by Rabbi David Novitsky Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa.
Apr 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 152 152 recommendations | email to a friend
For more than half my lifetime I have done my best to help victims of violent crimes in their struggle to recover. I have counseled rape, murder, terrorist and abuse victims spiritually, emotionall...
New moon, new months
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 27, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 153 153 recommendations | email to a friend
Tazria Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The first Passover Seder is nearly upon us. How do we know? No need to look at the calendar; go outside and look at the moon. As our ancestors did, we too can look at the...
That last bite of matzah has a special message
by Rabbi Barbara Symons, Temple David, Monroeville
Mar 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 155 155 recommendations | email to a friend
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The countdown to Passover is on. With that in mind, what will we do this year to make Passover less about food — especially decadent chocolate cakes preceded by a multi...
The Purim paradox: Now more than ever
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 157 157 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Zachor, Leviticus 6:1-8:36 One of my rabbis in seminary told this story: While serving as an Army chaplain, a soldier professed to him, “I believe every word in the Bible!” The rabbi replie...
Little alephs need our help
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Mar 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 158 158 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26 In this week’s parshah, which is the beginning of the book of Leviticus, we have something very unusual in the Torah scroll.  The first word, Vayikra, which means “And H...