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torah commentary
A failure of leadership and Moses’ downfall
Parshat Ha’azinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52 This is one of the shorter sections of the Torah, and it is made up almost entirely of a breathtaking and chastening poem. The term “awesome” tends to be overu...
Oct 13, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
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Yom Kippur as festive wedding day
Parshat Vayeilech, Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30 This week we will be celebrating Yom Kippur. More Jews will be going to a synagogue on this day than any other day in the year. How can we be sure that we ...
Oct 05, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
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Standing together for what is right
Parshat Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 Atem nitzavim hayom kulchem — these words that I practiced over and over again some 48 years ago as I trained for my bar mitzvah. These words that my whole ...
Sep 28, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend
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Upward and onward … and don’t look back!
Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 One of the most beautiful and popular verses in Torah is found in this week’s Parshah, Ki Tavo. In the midst of showering the People of Israel with blessings,...
Sep 22, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend
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Erasing and rewriting Amalek’s name
In Jewish tradition a reference to Amalek is a reminder in every generation of all who have ever sought to rise and destroy our people. As Moses implores, in this week’s Torah portion Ki Teitzei, w...
Sep 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
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Our great community of leaders
Parshat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 At the end of Parshat Shoftim the Torah teaches us the mitzvah of “Eglah Arufa.” This mitzvah is that if a man is found lifeless in the countryside and it i...
Sep 07, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend
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Rest is a must for healthy, spiritual living
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
May 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 160 160 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Behar-Bechukotai, Leviticus 25:1-27:34 With this week’s double Torah portion of Behar-Bechukotai, we finish the book of Vayikra, or Leviticus. The verses in Behar detail the Holy One’s comm...
The joy of Lag b’Omer
by Rabbi Doris Dyen
May 06, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 159 159 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Sometimes the Jewish calendar provides us with mind-bending juxtapositions. This week’s parshah is Emor, full of restrictions about approaching the Holy. And we’r...
After a death … you shall strive to be holy
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Apr 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27 I am certain that you have asked the question and that you have heard the question just as I have, “How will I go on after she/he dies?” It is amo...
What lies beneath
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin
Apr 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 164 164 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 We often hear it said in conversation that “beauty is only skin deep” and that we should look beyond physical appearance to judge the true character of ...
What’s for dinner?
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Apr 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 169 169 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Rabbi Eli Seidman
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Apr 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 174 174 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
From slavery to freedom: Pesach and Yom Hashoah
Mar 31, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 178 178 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Spiritual cleansing can accompany the physical one
by By Rabbi Sharyn Henry Parshat Tzav Leviticus 6:1-8:36
Mar 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 188 188 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
The meaning of ritual
by By Rabbi Joe Hample
Mar 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 196 196 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Talented in our own ways
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Mar 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 205 205 recommendations | email to a friend
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...