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torah commentary
Where there is no leader, strive to be a leader
Parashat Sheleach, Numbers 13:1-15:41 In the first aliyah of this week’s parshah Shelach Lecha, God speaks to Moses telling him to “send men … everyone a leader among them” to spy upon the land. Th...
Jun 14, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
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Seeking the right kind of leader
Parashat Beha'alotcha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 The Jewish people seemed poised for entry into the Promised Land when suddenly, “the nation became a group of kvetchers, complaining evilly in the ears of t...
Jun 07, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
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Only God blesses and we are all holy
Parashat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 “That man has no right to bless me! He’s a no-good good-for-nothing!” Ah, the good old days. The days of duchening. The days when the Kohanim (those of priestly lin...
Jun 01, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
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The degalim: an orchestra in harmony
Parashat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 In the parsha, we read of the instructions to Israel on how to camp and travel. They were arranged around the central point, the mishkan, the tabernacle. Each tr...
May 24, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend
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Even the land of Israel must keep the Sabbath
Parashat Behar-Behukotai, Leviticus, 25:1-27:34 “I am the Lord your God who brought you forth from the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan to be your God” (Leviticus 25:38). Citing the ver...
May 17, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend
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When you’re here, you’re family
Parashat Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Since Judaism teaches that all Jews are responsible for each other, the hemorrhaging of the number of diaspora Jews actively involved in Jewish life — or even ide...
May 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
The gift of ‘Solomon’s time’
by Rabbi Daniel Yolkut
Aug 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 265 265 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Chazon, Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Every year, Jews, as we have for more than two millenia, observe the fast of the Ninth of Av, marking the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, the...
(Re)ordering our priorities
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Aug 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 261 261 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Mattot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 In this week’s double portion, Matot-Ma’asei, it seems that our biblical ancestors have questionable priorities. As plans get underway for the eventual move...
The importance of a unified community
by Rabbi Shimon Silver
Jul 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 276 276 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 This parshah seems to be a hodgepodge of loosely connected or disconnected themes. The reward for Pinchas, the order to attack Midian (that actual attack is defe...
Miracle tales
by Rabbi Doris Dyen
Jul 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 282 282 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!” These beloved words in praise of Jewish community, which have become part of our everyday liturgy,...
Communal living a suprarational command
by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Jul 13, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 292 292 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 Is it more important to devote oneself to personal, spiritual develop­ment or to work for the good of the nation? I believe that a good argument can be made that co...
The importance of memory, especially to our history
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
Jul 06, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 304 304 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshaht Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32 In this week’s Torah portion, a rebellion breaks out against Moses’ leadership, led by the Levite Korach, Reubenites Dathan and Abiram and 250 chieftains of the ...
When the minority gets it right
by Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel
Jun 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 305 305 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Shelach Numbers, 13:1-15:41 This week’s Torah portion is Shelach, the story of the 12 spies, sent by Moses to explore and learn more about the Promised Land — this land G-d had promised our...
The power — and importance — of words
by Rabbi Yaier Lehrer
Jun 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 314 314 recommendations | email to a friend
Aaron and Miriam are speaking to each other. They criticize their brother for having married a Kushite woman.  God becomes angry at their speech and calls them to the Tent of Meeting. He chastises ...
The power of uplift, to make a day brighter
by Rabbi Elchonon Friedman
Jun 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 315 315 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Nasso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 A few weeks ago at a shiva home, I heard a bereaved mother speak lovingly of her beloved daughter, Rivka. She related how, until Rivka’s funeral, she hadn’t fully a...
Look into the eyes
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Jun 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 312 312 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 It was quite an endeavor. Moses was commanded to count every male of Israel over the age of 20 who was able to serve in the army. He was some 82 years old and rec...