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torah commentary
An easy choice?
Parashat Re'eh “And God said, I have set before you today a choice: a blessing or a curse.” Now who in their right mind would choose a curse over a blessing? Throughout our Torah there are many lis...
Aug 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Using our memories as a guide
Parshat Ekev Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 When you look back at the current conflict in Israel, what will you remember? Will it be a focus on the missiles coming into Israel or those going out?  On Iron ...
Aug 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Change of Mood
After the tragedy of Tisha B’Av, our mood changes. This Shabbat is called Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of Consolation. It takes its name from the words of Isaiah: “Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people...
Aug 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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Reason together
Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 My spiritual quest began in my lonely college years. If my peers didn’t understand me, maybe God would. I got involved with Hillel, took some Hebrew, went on a ...
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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Meaningful midrash of Tisha B’av
The story of Kansa and Bar Kamsa (Talmud Gittin, 55) illustrates the divided nature of the Jewish people that ultimately led to the terrible destruction of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem on Tisha B’a...
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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Israel’s borders – from Torah or diplomacy?
Mas’ei Numbers 33.1-36.15 In Mas-ei, which ends the book of Bemidar, our Torah outlines specific borders to the land promised by God to our people, a promise extending all the way back to Avraham a...
Jul 24, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Who am I?
Chol Hamoed Sukkot
by Rabbi Chuck Diamond
Congregation Tree of Life/Or L’Simcha
Sep 24, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Having just completed another High Holy Day season we have all revisited that age old question — Who am I? Hopefully we continue to learn from our past experiences and will continue to grow and mat...
Facing new challenges
Parashat Yom Kippur Leviticus 16:1 -34; Bamidbar 29: 7-10
by Cantor Richard Berlin
Spiritual Leader Parkway Jewish Center
Sep 16, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
The High Holy Days bring new challenges to each of us every year. As we explore the depths of our souls, we expose positives and negatives, successes and missed opportunities, hope and despair. Yes...
Moses’ pep talk has lessons for today
Nitzavim-Vayelech, Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30
by Rabbi Michael Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Sep 02, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
For each one of us there are times when we find ourselves all stressed out about some upcoming event. We may be giving a big presentation; we may be changing jobs or moving to a different city. We ...
Introducing non-Jewish Europeans to Jewish life
by Ruth Ellen Gruber
Sep 01, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
PITIGLIANO, Italy -- In Italy, where there are only about 25,000 affiliated Jews in a population of 60 million, most Italians have never knowingly met a Jew. "It's unfortunate," said the Italian Je...
Blessings or curses
Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Congregation Emanu-El Israel, Greensburg
Aug 26, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
In my college years, I traveled to Israel with a classmate. For each of us, it was not our first trip to Israel. Idealistic and naïve, we traveled on our own with plans to volunteer on a kibbutz. W...
Count us in
by Rabbi Joseph S. Weiss
B’nai Emunoh Congregation
Aug 19, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
The 110 verses of this week’s Torah portion contain an assortment of laws that cover practically every area of human endeavor. Seventy-four separate Mitzvos each with their attendant particular law...
Use these 40 days to rebuild
Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Temple David, Monroeville
Aug 12, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
The Jewish world just entered into the month of Elul, the final month before Rosh Hashana.  In this portion, we read: “Judges and officers you shall appoint to you (emphasis mine) ... and they shal...
On recognizing the significance of Jerusalem
Re’eh, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Aug 05, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
The Torah portion we read this week, Re’eh, opens with God setting before the people both “blessing and curse;” the one we receive is based on how we respond to God’s commandments. How then to meri...
The everyman’s (and woman’s) Torah
Vaetchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs
UPMC Shadyside Hospital
Jul 22, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
In synagogues everywhere we raise the Torah after we finish reading it and recite a verse from this week’s parsha: “V’zot hatorah asher sam Moshe” (This is the Torah that Moshe presented before the...
Here to hear, hear to do
Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Jul 15, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
As the Book of Deuteronomy begins this Shabbat, Moses and the people of Israel stand on the far side of the Jordan River. As rivers go, the Jordan is not nearly as impressive as the three rivers th...