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torah commentary
Erasing and rewriting Amalek’s name
In Jewish tradition a reference to Amalek is a reminder in every generation of all who have ever sought to rise and destroy our people. As Moses implores, in this week’s Torah portion Ki Teitzei, w...
Sep 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
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Our great community of leaders
Parshat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 At the end of Parshat Shoftim the Torah teaches us the mitzvah of “Eglah Arufa.” This mitzvah is that if a man is found lifeless in the countryside and it i...
Sep 07, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of caring for each other
Parshat Re’eh Rosh Chodesh Elul, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17, Numbers 28:9-15 The book of Deuteronomy documents Moses’ final address to the Israelites before they enter the Promised Land. In reiteratin...
Sep 02, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
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True love: our relationship with G-d
Parshat Eikev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 Vehaya Im Shamoah Tishmiu El Mitzvoisai. The second paragraph of the famous prayer of Shema is found in this week’s Torah portion. In it we are told that if we...
Aug 25, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend
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Monotheism and the problem of truth
Shabbat Nachamu, Parshat Etchanon, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 “You shall have no other gods beside Me!” This is the first of aseret hadibrot, literally the “Ten Declarations” or “Ten Commandments” found...
Aug 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of ‘Solomon’s time’
Shabbat Chazon, Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 Every year, Jews, as we have for more than two millenia, observe the fast of the Ninth of Av, marking the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, the...
Aug 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend
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Extraordinary women
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Nov 08, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 87 87 recommendations | email to a friend
Chayei Sara, Genesis 23:1-25:18 This Torah portion is called Chayei Sara for good reason.  Even though the very first verse reports the death of our mother, Sara, it says that she lived , meaning t...
Weigh candidates fairly when voting
by Rabbi Michael Werbow, Congregation Beth Shalom
Nov 01, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 83 83 recommendations | email to a friend
Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 Imagine the urgency with which Abraham greeted his guests.  As soon as he saw them coming he ran to greet them. Once he welcomed them and offered them something to eat, w...
Become you
by Rabbi Amy Hertz, Rodef Shalom Congregation
Oct 25, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend
Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 The story of our biblical ancestors Abraham and Sarah is one of great courage and profound change.  Their journey — our journey — begins with God’s invitation to them...
The challenge of righteousness 
by Barbara Binder Kadden Temple Beth El, Tacoma, Wash
Oct 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend
Noach, Genesis 6:9–11:32 “This is Noah’s chronicle. Noah was a righteous man; in his generation, he was above reproach; Noah walked with God” Genesis 6:9 The Rabbis have long debated this verse que...
Lost in the stars?
by Cantor Richard Berlin, Parkway Jewish Center
Oct 17, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend
Bereshit, Genesis 1:1 –6:8 “When God began to create heaven and earth….” We return once again to repeat our cycle of Torah. Torah and its many commentaries assure us that God and humans are in a re...
To see God’s faces
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Oct 04, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot “You cannot see My face, for no one shall see Me and live.” This declaration is as emphatic as any in the Torah.  God issues it in response to Moses’ plea, “Oh, let me be...
The time is now
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Sep 27, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend
Haazinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52 This week, we read from Parashat Haazinu. In it, Moses speaks words of poetry, a beautiful poem highlighting his last words to the children of Israel. After Moses finis...
Take one step after another
by Rabbi David Novitsky, Beth Israel Congregation, Washington, Pa.
Sep 20, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend
Shabbat Shuva Deuteronomy 31:1-30 Most wrongful conduct consists of both a trespass against a fellow person and a sin against G-d. On these days of penitence and specifically on Shabbat Shuva we ar...
‘Standing for something’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Sep 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend
Nitzavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 One of the most clever High Holy Day newspaper ads I ever saw was a display box that read, from top to bottom:  “Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Sit - Stand - Come sit ...
Some things are required, not desired
by Rabbi Scott Aaron, Agency for Jewish Learning
Sep 06, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 This week’s Torah portion begins with the instructions for personal tithing. The “first fruits” of the harvest of ground vegetation (onions, garlic, lettuce, etc.) ar...