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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 | 23 23 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
Return again
Sep 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 352 352 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Nitzavim/Vayelech Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Atah nitzavim, you are standing, all of you, this day before God. You, your leaders, and the most humble of the people.” So begins this week’s Tora...
The importance of ethical wills
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Sep 28, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 347 347 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1-52 At the end of his life, Moses addresses us, the Israelites, for the last time in the Torah portion of Ha’azinu. He recounts the blessings that we have enjoyed a...
Know it in your heart
by Rabbi Jessica E. Locketz
Sep 09, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 344 344 recommendations | email to a friend
Parsaht Ki Tavo Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 How long is a minute? When I was a child, my friends and I would test each other: Did we know how long a minute was? Of course we knew that a minute equaled 60...
An easy choice?
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Aug 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 326 326 recommendations | email to a friend
Parashat Re'eh “And God said, I have set before you today a choice: a blessing or a curse.” Now who in their right mind would choose a curse over a blessing? Throughout our Torah there are many lis...
Using our memories as a guide
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons, Temple David
Aug 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 307 307 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ekev Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 When you look back at the current conflict in Israel, what will you remember? Will it be a focus on the missiles coming into Israel or those going out?  On Iron ...
Change of Mood
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Aug 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 318 318 recommendations | email to a friend
After the tragedy of Tisha B’Av, our mood changes. This Shabbat is called Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of Consolation. It takes its name from the words of Isaiah: “Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people...
Reason together
by Rabbi Joe Hample
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 304 304 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 My spiritual quest began in my lonely college years. If my peers didn’t understand me, maybe God would. I got involved with Hillel, took some Hebrew, went on a ...
Meaningful midrash of Tisha B’av
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 292 292 recommendations | email to a friend
The story of Kansa and Bar Kamsa (Talmud Gittin, 55) illustrates the divided nature of the Jewish people that ultimately led to the terrible destruction of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem on Tisha B’a...
Israel’s borders – from Torah or diplomacy?
by Rabbi James Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jul 24, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 201 201 recommendations | email to a friend
Mas’ei Numbers 33.1-36.15 In Mas-ei, which ends the book of Bemidar, our Torah outlines specific borders to the land promised by God to our people, a promise extending all the way back to Avraham a...
Being there in spirit
by Rabbi Jessica E. Locketz
Jul 16, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 191 191 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Matot Numbers 30:2-32:42 In this week’s Torah portion, representatives of the Tribes of Reuben and Gad approach Moses. They have prospered on the east side of the Jordan. They have many her...