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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 | 50 50 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 | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
The divinity in us all
by Rabbi Aaron Benjamin Bisno
Jan 21, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 401 401 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 This week’s Torah Portion opens with God commanding Moses, bo el paraoh. Most English translations render this decree as, “Go to Pharaoh,” but in Hebrew the imperative...
Acting out of spite
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Jan 14, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 384 384 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Va’era, Exodus 6:2-9:3 “Pride comes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18) C.S. Lewis: “For pride is spiritual cancer: It eats up the very possibility ...
The importance of a Jewish soul
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Jan 07, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 382 382 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 A few weeks ago, publisher David Suissa reported on the White House Chanukah party he attended: “So, when the president got closer to us and I was prepared to launch ...
Understanding Joseph
by Rabbi Aaron Benjamin Bisno
Dec 31, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 385 385 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26 According to a recently published survey from a company called School Stickers, and as reported by the internet-media company Buzzfeed, the Top 10 most common n...
End of year, end of story
by Cantor Henry Shapiro
Dec 23, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 372 372 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 As we close out the year, we also draw to a close the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Even though we have one more parshah to finish the book, this week’s po...
Who will interpret our nightmares? Magicians or sages?
by Rabbi James Gibson
Dec 17, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 353 353 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41:1-44:17 In this week’s Torah portion, Joseph has fallen from fatherly favor to the depths of Pharaoh’s dungeons. The dreams of his youth seem to mock him. He is cast away...
He fled outside
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Dec 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 353 353 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
‘Act Your Age!’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin
Dec 04, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 276 276 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
Like dreamers
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Nov 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 273 273 recommendations | email to a friend
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...
I had no choice
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Nov 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 275 275 recommendations | email to a friend
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...