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torah commentary
He fled outside
Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 37:1-40:23 The Torah is a very concise document. Every phrase and every word is carefully measured out for maximum effect. When there is a superfluous word or a phrase o...
Dec 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
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‘Act Your Age!’
Parshat Vayishlach Genesis 32:4-36:43 So I took yet another one of those online quizzes today. This one seeks to guess my age using my answers to just six questions focused on pop culture. The firs...
Dec 04, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Like dreamers
Even with all the diversity among the Jewish people, one sentence epitomizes the Jewish relationship with the Land of Israel. It was around the year 500 B.C.E. when our psalmist put quill to parchm...
Nov 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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I had no choice
Parshat Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 A parable told in “The Midrash Says” helps explain how the twin brothers of this week’s Torah portion could end up so very different: “A myrtle branch and a thorn...
Nov 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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The peace we owe to Avraham
Parshat Chayei Sarah Genesis 23:1 - 25:18 In this week’s parshah, each member of Avraham’s family undergoes a fundamental transition: Sarah dies, Yitzchak and Rivkah meet and marry, Avraham dies, Y...
Nov 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Guess who’s coming to minyan
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 I do not recommend nor do I advocate that the Jewish law regarding the composition of a minyan should be abrogated in any fashion. But I do admire the openness an...
Nov 05, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
‘Yitro Phenomenon’ is still with us
Behalotecha, Numbers 8:1-12:16
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
New Light Congregation
Jun 10, 2011 | 1 1 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
“I have always believed I was Jewish,” Cathy said. This was her real reason for converting to Judaism, she confided to me. Though her ancestors came many generations ago from Sweden, she believed t...
Priestly blessing a reminder of 'shaddai,' 'shalom' Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Jun 02, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Brought to You by the Letter ”Shin” (with thanks to the sofer Neil Yerman). Probably one of the best-known blessings comes from this Shabbat’s Torah portion: “May the Lord bless you and keep you. M...
Numbered or Innumerable? Bemidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20
by Rabbi Jamie Gibson, Temple Sinai
May 26, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
In this week’s parasha, Bemidbar, a census is called for to divide the Israelites up into their tribes and fighting units. The numbers are carefully counted, except for the Levites, who will not be...
Different ways to give, Parashat Behukotai, Leviticus 26:3-27:34
by Rabbi Art Donsky, Temple Ohav Shalom
May 23, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
In the final chapter of Sefer Vayikra (Leviticus) in Parashat Behukotai we are presented with a description of three types of gifts that can be given for the sanctuary. The first type of gift is gi...
Jubilee reminds us we’re equal
Behar, Leviticus 25:1 — 26:2
by Rabbi Stephanie Wolfe
Beth Samuel Jewish Center
May 12, 2011 | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
This week’s Parsha, behar, teaches us about the shmitah and Jubilee years for the Israelites. In the initial descriptions, these laws apply to the land and how we must give the land a rest every se...
G-O-D spells 'God'
Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Beth El Congregation
May 05, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Not “G-d.” At least for me. Yes, when I was younger and attended yeshiva in Detroit, it was “G-d.” God was also “Hashem,” “Adoshem,” “Elokeinu” etc. Anything but “God.” My first year at Michigan St...
Being Nachshon leads to holiness
Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27
by Rabbi Michael Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Apr 28, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
Throughout much of the book of Vayikra (Leviticus) we speak of biblical issues of ritual impurity, which could be transferred from one person to another. These impurities could also be transferred ...
With thanks and memory
Shabbat Hol HaMoed
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Apr 22, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Like most good stories, this one has passed through many storytellers. It is said to have originated with Shlomo Carlebach: Many years ago, a little 7-year old boy and his family were about to leav...
Faith matters, rabbi’s social work teaches
Achare Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Temple Sinai
Apr 14, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
There is so much to do in preparation for Pesach with all of the cleaning and cooking, the cleaning and arranging, the cleaning and inviting, the cleaning setting the table. With all there is to do...
An afflicted house
Parshah Metzora Leviticus 14:1-15:33
by Rabbi Martin Shorr
Temple Hadar Israel,New Castle, Pa.
Apr 08, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
Chapter 14, verses 33-34 in this week’s Torah portion are telling: “G-d spoke to Moshe and Aaron, saying, ‘When you arrive in the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, and I place (afflic...