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torah commentary
First steps on the path to the Promised Land
Parshat Beshalach, Exodus 13:17 - 17:16 Redemption! Parshat Beshalach is a Torah portion of glory — glory in the Song at the Sea, the poetic celebration of liberation from Egyptian bondage, and glo...
Feb 09, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
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Genealogy only goes so far
Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 Why is the killing of the firstborn the final, and most significant, plague? True, it brought death into every household, rattling Egypt at its foundations, but certai...
Feb 01, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend
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A condemnation of one’s own making
Parshat Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35 During this past summer I had the opportunity to spend a Shabbat with the Yeshiva High School boys at Camp Twin Echo in the Laurel Highlands. After Shabbat I stopped ...
Jan 25, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend
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Moshe’s curious mind
Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 A new Pharaoh has risen.  The people Israel are enslaved and oppressed, and their very lives are in danger.  Into this frightening reality, a baby is born who then be...
Jan 19, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
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Our top priority: Service to G-d
The Torah portion this week relates a fascinating exchange between father and son. Jacob was lying on his deathbed when he turned to his second to the youngest son, Joseph, whom at the time was the...
Jan 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
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Imperfect forgiveness
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 The story of Joseph and his brothers is a story of life and death. The brothers seek to destroy Joseph; a famine attacks the land; Joseph as Egyptian prime min...
Jan 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
A new twist to blotting out Amalek
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons, Temple David, Monroeville
Aug 15, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tetze, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 You wouldn’t know it from the start, but Ki Tetze is one of those special portions. We arrive at it once as part of the Torah reading cycle and we roll to it once ...
Strong roots lead to a sound future
by Cantor Richard M. Berlin, Parkway Jewish Center
Aug 08, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend
Shoftim , Deuteronomy 16:18-21:19 Within Parshat Shoftim (Judges), it says: When in your war against a city you have to besiege it a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees...
Why would God care what we eat?
by Rabbi Joe Hample Congregation Tree of Life, Morgantown, W.Va.
Jul 31, 2013 | 2 2 comments | 167 167 recommendations | email to a friend
Re-eh, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 When I was young, you were supposed to eat what was put in front of you.  Now, everyone has special food requirements for reasons of health, politics, religion or an ...
Abundance — blessing or curse?
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jul 25, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 166 166 recommendations | email to a friend
Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 This week’s portion, Ekev, is beloved for highlighting our connection to the land of Israel.  We learn of the seven species native to the land in Deuteronomy 8.9:  whea...
For the love of God
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Jul 18, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Va-etchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 “Then God Eternal fashioned the man — dust from the soil — and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that man became a living being.” — (Genesis 2:7) ...
The ox and the donkey
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Jul 11, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 165 165 recommendations | email to a friend
Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 An ox knows its owner, and a donkey knows its master’s crib. But Israel does not know; my people does not consider. — Isaiah 1:3   On the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, th...
Stroll down Memory Lane
by Rabbi Amy Hertz
Jul 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 182 182 recommendations | email to a friend
Matot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 This week’s Torah portion brings the Book of Numbers, and in many ways the narrative of the Torah, to a close.  With the end of B’midbar, our people’s journey in the...
A just reward?
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Jun 26, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 175 175 recommendations | email to a friend
Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 At the beginning of this week’s parsha, we read that Aaron’s grandson, Pinchas, is rewarded for his zealousness on God’s behalf with the reward that the priesthood will ...
Lessons learned from Balaam … and camping
by Rabbi Donni C. Aaron, Jewish Community Center
Jun 20, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 181 181 recommendations | email to a friend
Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 In this week’s Torah reading, Balak, King Balak of Moab retains the sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people. Instead of curses, though, only blessings come out of his mo...
‘A woman’s work is never done’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Jun 12, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 188 188 recommendations | email to a friend
Hukkat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 At first glance it seems so unfair. In this week’s parsha, Moses loses both his brother and his sister before preparing for his own death. Yet the accounts of their passin...