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torah commentary
The divine fragrance of memory
Parshat Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10 The Book of Exodus describes six ritual objects designed for use in the mishkan, the Taberncle: the Ark of the Covenant, the sacrificial altar, the menorah, the...
Feb 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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The gift of Cuban resiliency
Parshat Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19 “Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him. And these a...
Feb 18, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend
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What makes us count
Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 During my freshman year of college, I was one of the lucky ones. There it was in my mailbox waiting for me to be filled out, waiting for me to answer its many q...
Feb 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend
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Both procedural and substantive justice thou shall pursue
In this week’s Torah portion, Jethro observes his son-in-law Moses judging the people while they stand and wait morning until evening. Both Moses and the litigants are worn out because of a legal s...
Feb 04, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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Enemies without and within
Parshat Beshallach, Exodus 13:17-17:16 “From the frying pan into the fire,” we used to say, going from one trouble to another. In this week’s Torah portion, our people experience such an amazing sa...
Jan 29, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend
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The divinity in us all
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 This week’s Torah Portion opens with God commanding Moses, bo el paraoh. Most English translations render this decree as, “Go to Pharaoh,” but in Hebrew the imperative...
Jan 21, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 129 129 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
An afflicted house
Parshah Metzora Leviticus 14:1-15:33
by Rabbi Martin Shorr
Temple Hadar Israel,New Castle, Pa.
Apr 08, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
Chapter 14, verses 33-34 in this week’s Torah portion are telling: “G-d spoke to Moshe and Aaron, saying, ‘When you arrive in the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, and I place (afflic...
World without words
Parshat Tazria Leviticus 12:1-13:59
by Rabbi Nosson Sachs
UPMC Shadyside Hospital
Mar 30, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
As one Arab regime after another falls, I am reminded of the famous line, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” The ability to instantaneously communicate through social networking sites was key to...
Kashrut and holiness
Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47        
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Jewish Association on Aging
Mar 24, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
Back in August 2010, just before Rosh Hashana, the JTA ran a story about Jews that kept kosher only during the holidays. It described Jews who buy kosher wine for Shabbat or holidays, even though t...
Remembering what makes us one
Leviticus 6:1-8:36
by Rabbi Donni Aaron
Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh
Mar 17, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
Studies have shown that musicians have a better memory — not just for music, but words and pictures too. If you have ever watched “American Idol,” you know that this is so. In the finale episodes t...
Be humble, but not too humble
Vayikra; Leviticus 1:1-5:26
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Mar 10, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
In this week’s Torah portion, Vayikra, the last letter of the first word, an alef, is written smaller than the rest of the letters in the word. Simcha Bunem of Przysucha provides one interpretation...
Shabbat Shekalim: A little bit goes a long way
Pekudei, Exodus 38:21-40:38
by Rabbi Scott Aaron
Agency for Jewish Learning
Mar 03, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
March 5 is Shabbat Shekalim, one of four special Shabbats preceding Passover in the Hebrew month of Adar that have special thematic Torah readings in addition to the scheduled Torah portion for tha...
The embroidered screen
Vayakhel, Exodus 35:1-38:20
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Temple B'nai Israel, White Oak
Feb 28, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
Construction of the mishkan, the portable sanctuary, is the main subject of Vayakhel, this week’s Torah portion. The gathering of materials, the appointment of artist/managers, the fabrication of c...
Jewish heroes made the right moves on Purim
Ki Tissa, Exodus 30:11-34:35
by Rabbi Joseph S. Weiss
B’nai Emunoh Congregation
Feb 17, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
This week would be Purim, if it were not a leap year in the Hebrew calendar, and we would have read the Megilla. In the Megilla of Esther, Mordechai overhears Bigthan And Terresh plotting secretly ...
Tetazaveh – Where is Moses?
Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Feb 10, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend
Jewish tradition teaches that as Moses was the Israelites’ first political leader, his older brother, Aaron, was their first religious leader. Yet for all their unique accomplishments, neither Aaro...
If you build it, God will come; if you don’t, God won’t
South Hills Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Feb 03, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
“Do you ever have doubts about God?” One of my confirmation students asked me this question recently. I took her question seriously. I wanted to give her not merely a quick answer, but a good one. ...