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torah commentary
What’s for dinner?
Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 Parshat Shemini begins with the rites for inaugurating the priesthood and Aaron as the first high priest, certainly a seminal moment in the religious life of th...
Apr 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
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Rabbi Eli Seidman
Acharon Shel Pesach “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead th...
Apr 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
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From slavery to freedom: Pesach and Yom Hashoah
Every year, within a week of emerging from Passover’s journey from slavery to freedom, we gather together as a community to remember and to mourn on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. The proximi...
Mar 31, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend
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Spiritual cleansing can accompany the physical one
This Shabbat, the last Shabbat before Pesach, is known as Shabbat HaGadol — “the Big Shabbat,” “the Great Shabbat.” The exact origin and purpose of this distinction have been debated by sages for m...
Mar 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend
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The meaning of ritual
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...
Mar 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend
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Talented in our own ways
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...
Mar 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Rabbi marks three anniversaries;reflects on the meaning of family
Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27  
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Congregation Emanu-El Israel Greensburg
Nov 02, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend
The Biblical commentator, Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Yehiel Michael better known as Malbim (1809-1897), asks about the order of the command given to Abram in this week’s Torah portion. He notes that Ab...
Where did the raven go?
Genesis 6:9-11:32
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Temple Sinai
Oct 27, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
The story of Noah and the flood is often presented as a children’s tale, something so fabulous and unbelievable we expect kids to be awed and adults to strain to suspend their disbelief. The story ...
The unforgiven
Shabbat Shuva, Haazinu, Deuteronomy, 32:1-52
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Oct 06, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
We must blindly forgive others, because God is forgiving, right? Wrong. Where in our Torah is God so forgiving? Whenever we did something wrong, God immediately punished us. I cannot recall one tim...
Seeing God’s love
Haazinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52
by Rabbi Mike Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Sep 29, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
Congratulations! We have all made it to the first Shabbat of 5772. For the past week (or more) we have been wishing each other, “L’shana tova tikateyvu,” (may you be inscribed for a good year). Now...
We stand together …
Nitzavim-Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Sep 21, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
We are standing, all of us, in a circle. Spontaneously, we start singing “Lechi Lach,” to our teacher who is leaving. We send our hopes that she continues to “go forth,” that she is a blessing to h...
First fruits
Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Director of Lifelong Learning
Temple Sinai
Sep 15, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
There are so many firsts for all of us at this time of year: first days of school, first leaves turning, first football games (Go Steelers!). For Jews, this perennial season of firsts finds its ori...
Matchmakers must remember why they do their job
Ki Tetze, 21:10-25:19
by Rabbi Martin William Shorr
Temple Hadar Israel, New Castle
Sep 08, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
This week's Torah portion talks about the laws of a sad, but real situation -- divorce. There are opinions from various rabbis in the Talmud relating to divorce. Interestingly, because there is a p...
Torah is Israel's first line of defense
Parshat Shofteem Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs
UPMC Shadyside
Sep 01, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
Most Jews are concerned with Israel's safety and security, but what is the mostessential element of that security? Is it a well-trained and well-equipped Israel Defense Forces? Perhaps the Shin Bet...
Little things mean a lot
Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Jewish Association on Aging
Aug 18, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend
“Blow me a kiss from across the room Say I look nice when I’m not Touch my hair as you pass my chair Little things mean a lot…” “Little Things Mean a Lot” was a popular song, recorded by Kitty Kall...
Practice loving God
Vaetchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Aug 11, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
In this week’s Torah portion, Vaetchanan, Moses is in the midst of giving his final words of instruction to the Children of Israel before his death. In an effort to ensure loyalty of the people of ...