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torah commentary
Miracle tales
Parshat Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!” These beloved words in praise of Jewish community, which have become part of our everyday liturgy,...
Jul 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Communal living a suprarational command
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 Is it more important to devote oneself to personal, spiritual develop­ment or to work for the good of the nation? I believe that a good argument can be made that co...
Jul 13, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of memory, especially to our history
Parshaht Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32 In this week’s Torah portion, a rebellion breaks out against Moses’ leadership, led by the Levite Korach, Reubenites Dathan and Abiram and 250 chieftains of the ...
Jul 06, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
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When the minority gets it right
Parshat Shelach Numbers, 13:1-15:41 This week’s Torah portion is Shelach, the story of the 12 spies, sent by Moses to explore and learn more about the Promised Land — this land G-d had promised our...
Jun 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend
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The power — and importance — of words
Aaron and Miriam are speaking to each other. They criticize their brother for having married a Kushite woman.  God becomes angry at their speech and calls them to the Tent of Meeting. He chastises ...
Jun 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend
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The power of uplift, to make a day brighter
Parshat Nasso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 A few weeks ago at a shiva home, I heard a bereaved mother speak lovingly of her beloved daughter, Rivka. She related how, until Rivka’s funeral, she hadn’t fully a...
Jun 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Talking and walking, they need each other
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman, Temple B’nai Israel, White Oak
Jan 22, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 155 155 recommendations | email to a friend
Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 With the portion Mishpatim, the narrative parts of the Torah are now largely behind us. There are more stories scattered throughout the remainder, but from now through ...
We can’t do it all alone
by Cantor Henry Shapiro, Parkway Jewish Center
Jan 15, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 156 156 recommendations | email to a friend
This week’s parsha, of Yitro, has two main topics. The first concerns the visit of Yitro, the father-in-law of Moses. The second is the revelation at Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments. Certainly...
Make a joyful noise
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jan 08, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 157 157 recommendations | email to a friend
Beshalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16 The public radio program “Radiolab” recently aired a story about a man expressing pure joy. The man, Aleksander Gamme, is an adventurer; the event happened on day 86 o...
Time to soften our hearts, hear our suffering
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jan 02, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 157 157 recommendations | email to a friend
Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 When we speak of “Pharaoh,” of course, we are referring to the ruler of Egypt at the time Moses approaches to demand of him, “Let my People go!” This is the pharaoh “who knew ...
Don’t wait, do it now
by Rabbi Michael Werbow, Congregation Beth Shalom
Dec 24, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today” is a familiar maxim attributed to Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.  Unfortunately, though, many...
Spiritual exile and redemption — we are all meant to be free
by Rabbi James Gibson, Temple Sinai
Dec 19, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 161 161 recommendations | email to a friend
Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 Commenting on our parshah, the Sefat Emet , Rabbi Yehuda Aryeh Leib Alter (1847-1905) wondered why the Israelites had not cried out to God from the beginning of their bondage...
Shema story resonates with young people in today’s world and hope
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer, Congregation B’nai Abraham, Butler
Dec 11, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 164 164 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayechi, Genesis, 47:28-50:26 Parshat Vayechi  (and he lived) is the last portion in Bereshit (Genesis).  It serves as a bridge between the chronicles of the patriarchs and matriarchs in Bereshit a...
Joseph’s revelation holds new lessons for today’s challenges and hope
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Dec 05, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 How could they not know? That’s the question I always have — the problem I always struggle with — when it comes to these chapters of the book of Genesis. How could Jos...
Two stories share message of abundance and hope
by Rabbi Ron Symons, Temple Sinai
Nov 27, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Miketz, Genesis 41:1-44:17 I love Chanukah. I love Chanukah because of the latkes and the jelly donuts, the dreidels and the gelt, the family fun and the increasing light. While many of us share a ...
Carving out a new place leads to lasting change
by Rabbi Stephanie Wolfe, Beth Samuel Jewish Center, Ambridge
Nov 20, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 158 158 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 Many of us have had those moments when we do something or say something and afterward think, “I’ve turned into my mother (or father).” It doesn’t matter how far away we...