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torah commentary
The peace we owe to Avraham
Parshat Chayei Sarah Genesis 23:1 - 25:18 In this week’s parshah, each member of Avraham’s family undergoes a fundamental transition: Sarah dies, Yitzchak and Rivkah meet and marry, Avraham dies, Y...
Nov 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
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Guess who’s coming to minyan
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 I do not recommend nor do I advocate that the Jewish law regarding the composition of a minyan should be abrogated in any fashion. But I do admire the openness an...
Nov 05, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend
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An ‘Aha!’ moment
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 In this week’s Torah portion, Abram (as he is called at the beginning) is told to “Go! Go from your land, from your birthplace, from the house of your father ...
Oct 29, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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The seas speak of God’s justice
­ Parshat Noach Genesis 6:9-11:32 This Shabbat also marks Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan, the beginning of the one month in the Jewish calendar without any holidays at all. There is an interesting connec...
Oct 23, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Blessings for the miracles around us
Parshat Bereshit Genesis 1:1-6:8 Of all the Torah portions throughout the year, Bereshit is probably one of the most familiar ones in the Jewish community. And for this reason, we have heard many w...
Oct 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Approaching Yom Kippur, a thorough scrubbing for the New Year
Why does Rosh Hashanah precede Yom Kippur? You would think that if our sins were instantly forgiven on Yom Kippur, we would be in a better position on Rosh Hashanah to be inscribed for a new year o...
Oct 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
What’s it Worth to You?
B’har/B’hukkotai Leviticus 25:1 –27:34
by Cantor Richard Berlin
Parkway Jewish Center
May 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend
We live in a time of materialism. We put a value on everything, whether a financial portfolio, the financial burden and impact of welfare and food stamps, or the crushing impact on unemployment and...
Happy and holy Mother’s Day
Emor, Leviticus 21:1 - 24:23
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
May 10, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
I write this D’var Torah on April 22. Today would have been my mother’s 95th birthday. We celebrated my mother’s last birthday in 2005 when my family gathered for Shabbat dinner at her residence at...
‘After death … there is holiness’
Parashat Acharei Mot - Kedoshim
by Rabbi Amy B. Hertz
Rodef Shalom Congregation
May 04, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
In order to complete the reading of the Torah in a timely way this year, it is necessary to double up certain weekly Torah readings.  This week we read from a double portion, the combination of Par...
‘Icky, gooey, itchy’ parsha touts ageless role model
Tazra-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33    
by Rabbi Barbara Symons
Temple David, Monroeville
Apr 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
“The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: ‘When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling, a rash or a discoloration, and it develops into a scaly affliction on the skin of his body, it sha...
Something to chew on
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47
by Rabbi Michael Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Apr 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
The pursuit to find reasons for the mitzvot is long standing. As far back as the Mishna, the Talmud and Midrash, (second century B.C.E. to fifth century C.E.) the rabbis were looking for “ta’amei h...
Do the tithe thing
Passover, Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17; Numbers 28:19-25
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Apr 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
The regular Torah reading for the eighth day of Passover discusses the consecration of all firstborn animals to God and the festival calendar, clearly connecting to the observance of the holiday. H...
Heed Kafka’s words this Passover
Tzav, Leviticus 6:1-8:36
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Apr 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
 Franz Kafka, a 20th century Jewish novelist, famously wrote, “You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world.  That is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature.  B...
Broken Hallelujah
Shabbat Hagadol 5772
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
New Light Congregation
Mar 29, 2012 | 1 1 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
“When do we eat?” my Aunt Florence would always ask 15 minutes after we began the seder. It is a source a disagreement in my family whether we should start early or late on seder night. Some argue ...
‘Days are scrolls — write on them’
Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Temple B’nai Israel, White Oak
Mar 22, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
As we begin to read Vayikra/Leviticus this week, we plunge immediately into the details of sacrificial worship in ancient Israel. The Romans destroyed the Second Temple in 70 C.E. As it became clear...
Understanding the tabernacle today
Vayakhel-Pekudei, Exodus 35:1-40:38
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Mar 15, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
In this Shabbat’s Torah portion, which is a combined one, we once again get a detailed description of the building of the tabernacle. As a contemporary Jew, I used to find no meaning for myself in ...