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torah commentary
Water for body and soul
Parshat Chukat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 The day before this is published I will have returned safely, God willing, from a visit to my beloved native Arizona desert. It is a place of austere grandeur and ...
Jun 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Don't be a hater
Occasionally, one of my sons doesn’t like my final decision and he quotes a line from a Taylor Swift song, “Don’t be a hater Mom,” he says. Who realized that Taylor Swift knew Torah, specifically p...
Jun 18, 2015 | 1 1 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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God’s reputation or mission?
Parshat Sh'lach L'cha, Numbers 13.1-15.41 This week’s parsha finds our people caught in a classic “good news-bad news” scenario. The good news is that our troop of 12 spies has walked up and down t...
Jun 11, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
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Be like Miriam
Parshat Beha’alotecha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 There is a Hebrew song that I sang often in my NFTY days: Mitzvah goreret mitzvah, averah goreret averah, “one good deed leads to another good deed, one tra...
Jun 03, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
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It all adds up
Parshat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 Gematria explains a word or group of words according to the numerical equivalent of its letters. Alef = 1, bet = 2, gimmel = 3, etc. Both the Babylonians and Greeks ...
May 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
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We were all at Mount Sinai
Parshat Bemidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 “And God said to us at Mount Sinai, ‘Today you stand before Me, all of you, your leaders and your followers, your children and your wives, even the stranger; all ...
May 20, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Believing in God regardless of proof
Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
by Rabbi Scott Aaron
Agency for Jewish Learning
Aug 03, 2011 | 1 1 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
This week, we begin studying the fifth book of the Torah, Devarim, which is also the name of this week’s portion. It was the custom of our ancestors to name books and Torah portions after the first...
Pollution
Masei, Numbers 33:1-36:13
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman>br>Temple B’nai Israel
White Oak
Jul 28, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
“Do not pollute the land on which you live.” Numbers 35:33 I wish I could say that these words were an ancient harbinger of our environmental concerns, an admonition against pollution. In fact, the...
Vows make a difference, as tradition teaches
Mattot, Numbers 30:2–32:42
by Cantor Richard Berlin
Parkway Jewish Center
Jul 21, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
“If a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath imposing an obligation upon himself he shall not break his pledge; he must carry out all that has crossed his lips.” — Numbers 30:2 “If a woman ma...
Change is inevitable — and appropriate
Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jul 14, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
Amidst the many disparate matters discussed in Parashat Pinchas, we read of Moses being informed by God that he will die before being permitted to enter the Promised Land. We then hear Moses ask Go...
Faith vs. fear, foe vs. faux
Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Jul 06, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
Fateful and fraught is the number 40 in the Torah. Forty days of rain in the flood story, 40 days for Moses on Mt. Sinai, and 40 years wandering from Egypt to the Promised Land prove the power of t...
The irony of healing
Chukkat, Numbers 19:1-22:1
by Rabbi David C. Novitsky
Beth Israel Congregation, Washington
Jun 30, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
At one time, there was a red heifer in Washington County, or so several individuals have told me. The Torah portion of this week discusses the red heifer. What exactly is a red heifer? The Bible in...
Location matters in disputes
Temple David Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32
by Rabbi Barbara Symons
Temple David
Jun 24, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
What is the proper arena for dispute? If you are a Food Network groupie, then you are familiar with the show “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” In the territory of a chef’s kitchen, he cooks his own vers...
Temper mercy with anger when the kvetching starts
Shelach, Numbers 13:1-15:41
by Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner
Temple Shalom, Wheeling, W.Va.
Jun 16, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
Kvetching is a great Yiddish word. It’s robust and full of flavor. And it’s something we find plenty of in this week’s Torah portion, Shelach. Twelve scouts are sent by G-d to the land of Canaan to...
‘Yitro Phenomenon’ is still with us
Behalotecha, Numbers 8:1-12:16
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
New Light Congregation
Jun 10, 2011 | 1 1 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
“I have always believed I was Jewish,” Cathy said. This was her real reason for converting to Judaism, she confided to me. Though her ancestors came many generations ago from Sweden, she believed t...
Priestly blessing a reminder of 'shaddai,' 'shalom' Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Jun 02, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Brought to You by the Letter ”Shin” (with thanks to the sofer Neil Yerman). Probably one of the best-known blessings comes from this Shabbat’s Torah portion: “May the Lord bless you and keep you. M...