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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 | 2 2 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 | 4 4 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 | 6 6 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 | 8 8 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 | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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Not Lot’s cup of tea
Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24
by Rabbi Scott Aaron
Agency for Jewish Learning
Oct 21, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
This week’s portion, Vayera, contains the well-known tale of Sodom and Gomorrah. G-d informs Abraham through three visiting angels appearing as weary travelers that the cities will be destroyed for...
After death, the reputation lives on
Noach, Genesis 6:9-11:32
by Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner
Temple Shalom, Wheeling, W.Va.
Oct 06, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
This summer, my dad died. Twenty days later, my mother-in-law died. Twenty-two days after that, my uncle died. And this week was the funeral for the Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Shalom in Wheeling, W.V...
Shabbat is exactly what we need
Bereshit, Genesis 1:1-6:8
by Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Sep 29, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
On the seventh day God finished the work, which God had been doing, and God ceased on the seventh day from all the work, which he had done. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, bec...
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 | 15 15 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...