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torah commentary
You changed my sackcloth into robes of joy
For more than half my lifetime I have done my best to help victims of violent crimes in their struggle to recover. I have counseled rape, murder, terrorist and abuse victims spiritually, emotionall...
Apr 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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New moon, new months
Tazria Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The first Passover Seder is nearly upon us. How do we know? No need to look at the calendar; go outside and look at the moon. As our ancestors did, we too can look at the...
Mar 27, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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That last bite of matzah has a special message
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 The countdown to Passover is on. With that in mind, what will we do this year to make Passover less about food — especially decadent chocolate cakes preceded by a multi...
Mar 19, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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The Purim paradox: Now more than ever
Shabbat Zachor, Leviticus 6:1-8:36 One of my rabbis in seminary told this story: While serving as an Army chaplain, a soldier professed to him, “I believe every word in the Bible!” The rabbi replie...
Mar 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Little alephs need our help
Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26 In this week’s parshah, which is the beginning of the book of Leviticus, we have something very unusual in the Torah scroll.  The first word, Vayikra, which means “And H...
Mar 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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Holy housewarming can strengthen community
Suppose you fell in love, and wanted your beloved to move in with you.  You would probably arrange the residence exactly the way s/he likes it, with the furniture positioned and the tchotchkes depl...
Feb 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend
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Bringing holiness into our lives
Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23
by Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner
Temple Shalom, Wheeling W.Va.
Apr 29, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Mother’s Day is next Sunday. This comes as no surprise, and most of us have already figured out how to mark this special day. Similarly, we know that Memorial Day will fall at the end of May and th...
Love, love, love
Achare-Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Temple Emanuel
Apr 22, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
The Bershider Rebbe said: Do you want people to love you? Love them first. This is undoubtedly one of the messages of this week’s double Torah portion, Achare-Kedoshim, a portion considered by many...
Tazria/M’tzora Leviticus 12:1-15:33
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Temple B’nai Israel, White Oak
Apr 15, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
Plagues that infect houses are the subject of a difficult paragraph in this week’s double sedrah. Just what is the nature of “greenish or reddish streaks that appear to go deep into the wall?” (Lev...
To be or not to be … kosher
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:41
by Cantor Richard Berlin
Parkway Jewish Center
Apr 08, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Before you choose to skip this column, let me tell you that you will not be subjected to a regimented discussion of how you should keep kosher. Nor will you be subjected to exhortations to change y...
Change is within our power
Congregation Chol HaMoed Pesach
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Rodef Shalom
Apr 02, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Three weeks ago, this paper ran an editorial cartoon that portrayed “Non-Orthodox Israelis” as prisoners to “Ultra-Orthodox Rules.” The cartoon struck a nerve with me as I am troubled by the religi...
The stream of spirituality, or lost at sea
Tzav, Leviticus 6:1-8:36
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 25, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
This spring marks my 30th anniversary at Temple Emanuel, 25 years as senior rabbi. Shortly after I arrived in 1980, the president of Temple Emanuel told me of a conversation she’d had with my prede...
A righteous leader
Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26
by Rabbi David Novitsky
Beth Israel Congregation, Washington
Mar 18, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
In this week’s Torah reading we commence the study of the book of Leviticus, which teaches us about the kohanim. The first part of this Torah section describes in vivid details the rules and proced...
When do we group ourselves together?
Vayakhel-Pekudei, Exodus 35:1-40:38, 12:1-20 <
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Temple David
Mar 11, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
“Moses then convoked the whole Israelite community. …” so begins this week’s double portion, Vayakhel-Pekudei. The verse is introductory; it is a lead-in to a reminder of observing Shabbat, buildin...
Count us in!
Ki Tissa, 30:11-34:35; Numbers 19:1-22
by Rabbi Ezra Ende
Temple Sinai
Mar 04, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
Our Torah portion “Ki Tissa” begins with the command to count the Israelite people by the head. This is pretty similar to what is going on in our country these days: the 2010 census! The reasons fo...
‘I’ll leave the light on’
Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10
by Rabbi Amy B. Hertz
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Feb 25, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
“Mom, I am heading out for the night. I am taking the car.” “Have a good time, Amy, drive carefully… and I’ll leave the front porch light on for you.” I remember having that same conversation with ...