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torah commentary
Spiritual cleansing can accompany the physical one
This Shabbat, the last Shabbat before Pesach, is known as Shabbat HaGadol — “the Big Shabbat,” “the Great Shabbat.” The exact origin and purpose of this distinction have been debated by sages for m...
Mar 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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The meaning of ritual
This week we begin the Book of Leviticus: “The Eternal called Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel.’” This book is for the children of Israel. I...
Mar 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
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Talented in our own ways
Parshat Vayakhel-Pekude, Exodus 38:21-40:38 Every time I have to draw a picture, especially of the map of Israel, my students laugh. I am not an artist. Art was a required course in high school and...
Mar 12, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
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A different Moses emerges for all time
Parshat Ki Tisa Exodus 30:11-34:35 What is the significance of the dazzling radiance of Moses’ face and why did it not attain this shining glow until he received the second tablets on Yom Kippur? A...
Mar 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend
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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 | 43 43 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 | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
G-O-D spells 'God'
Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23
by Rabbi Alex Greenbaum
Beth El Congregation
May 05, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Not “G-d.” At least for me. Yes, when I was younger and attended yeshiva in Detroit, it was “G-d.” God was also “Hashem,” “Adoshem,” “Elokeinu” etc. Anything but “God.” My first year at Michigan St...
Being Nachshon leads to holiness
Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27
by Rabbi Michael Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Apr 28, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
Throughout much of the book of Vayikra (Leviticus) we speak of biblical issues of ritual impurity, which could be transferred from one person to another. These impurities could also be transferred ...
With thanks and memory
Shabbat Hol HaMoed
by Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Apr 22, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend
Like most good stories, this one has passed through many storytellers. It is said to have originated with Shlomo Carlebach: Many years ago, a little 7-year old boy and his family were about to leav...
Faith matters, rabbi’s social work teaches
Achare Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Temple Sinai
Apr 14, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
There is so much to do in preparation for Pesach with all of the cleaning and cooking, the cleaning and arranging, the cleaning and inviting, the cleaning setting the table. With all there is to do...
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...