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torah commentary
Interconnectedness is a Jewish value
Parshat Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23 The American psyche holds independence in great esteem. Our nation was conceived not by people who saw themselves united in culture or history or through shared anc...
Feb 15, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
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First steps on the path to the Promised Land
Parshat Beshalach, Exodus 13:17 - 17:16 Redemption! Parshat Beshalach is a Torah portion of glory — glory in the Song at the Sea, the poetic celebration of liberation from Egyptian bondage, and glo...
Feb 09, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
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Genealogy only goes so far
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 Why is the killing of the firstborn the final, and most significant, plague? True, it brought death into every household, rattling Egypt at its foundations, but certai...
Feb 01, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend
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A condemnation of one’s own making
Parshat Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 During this past summer I had the opportunity to spend a Shabbat with the Yeshiva High School boys at Camp Twin Echo in the Laurel Highlands. After Shabbat I stopped ...
Jan 25, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend
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Moshe’s curious mind
Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 A new Pharaoh has risen.  The people Israel are enslaved and oppressed, and their very lives are in danger.  Into this frightening reality, a baby is born who then be...
Jan 19, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Reframe, reboot and remember Pinchas
by Rabbi Mark Mahler
Jul 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 246 246 recommendations | email to a friend
Parashat Pinchas Numbers 25:10 - 30:1 The second thing I read when I open The Jewish Chronicle is the rabbi’s D’var Torah.  The first thing I read is the Celebrations section, specifically the bar ...
Words of sincerity
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Jul 01, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 249 249 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 “Say what you mean; and mean what you say.”   Whenever my grandfather offered me this admonition, I knew I was either being asked to clarify something I’d said or t...
Water for body and soul
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Jun 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 253 253 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chukat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 The day before this is published I will have returned safely, God willing, from a visit to my beloved native Arizona desert. It is a place of austere grandeur and ...
Don't be a hater
by Rabbi Amy Greenbaum
Jun 18, 2015 | 1 1 comments | 244 244 recommendations | email to a friend
Occasionally, one of my sons doesn’t like my final decision and he quotes a line from a Taylor Swift song, “Don’t be a hater Mom,” he says. Who realized that Taylor Swift knew Torah, specifically p...
God’s reputation or mission?
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
Jun 11, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 263 263 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Sh'lach L'cha, Numbers 13.1-15.41 This week’s parsha finds our people caught in a classic “good news-bad news” scenario. The good news is that our troop of 12 spies has walked up and down t...
Be like Miriam
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Jun 03, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 264 264 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Beha’alotecha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 There is a Hebrew song that I sang often in my NFTY days: Mitzvah goreret mitzvah, averah goreret averah, “one good deed leads to another good deed, one tra...
It all adds up
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
May 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 266 266 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 Gematria explains a word or group of words according to the numerical equivalent of its letters. Alef = 1, bet = 2, gimmel = 3, etc. Both the Babylonians and Greeks ...
We were all at Mount Sinai
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
May 20, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 272 272 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bemidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 “And God said to us at Mount Sinai, ‘Today you stand before Me, all of you, your leaders and your followers, your children and your wives, even the stranger; all ...
Rest is a must for healthy, spiritual living
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
May 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 273 273 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 | 269 269 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...