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torah commentary
The seas speak of God’s justice
­ Parshat Noach Genesis 6:9-11:32 This Shabbat also marks Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan, the beginning of the one month in the Jewish calendar without any holidays at all. There is an interesting connec...
Oct 23, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Blessings for the miracles around us
Parshat Bereshit Genesis 1:1-6:8 Of all the Torah portions throughout the year, Bereshit is probably one of the most familiar ones in the Jewish community. And for this reason, we have heard many w...
Oct 20, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Approaching Yom Kippur, a thorough scrubbing for the New Year
Why does Rosh Hashanah precede Yom Kippur? You would think that if our sins were instantly forgiven on Yom Kippur, we would be in a better position on Rosh Hashanah to be inscribed for a new year o...
Oct 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Return again
Parshat Nitzavim/Vayelech Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30 “Atah nitzavim, you are standing, all of you, this day before God. You, your leaders, and the most humble of the people.” So begins this week’s Tora...
Sep 30, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of ethical wills
Parshat Ha’azinu Deuteronomy 32:1-52 At the end of his life, Moses addresses us, the Israelites, for the last time in the Torah portion of Ha’azinu. He recounts the blessings that we have enjoyed a...
Sep 28, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Know it in your heart
Parsaht Ki Tavo Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 How long is a minute? When I was a child, my friends and I would test each other: Did we know how long a minute was? Of course we knew that a minute equaled 60...
Sep 09, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
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. ...
Is idolatry still with us?
Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons
Temple David, Monroeville
Jan 20, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Who are your idols? When reviewing the Ten Commandments, many of us probably skim the second commandment, the one about idols. That was a biblical commandment for biblical times, right? Yet because...
First steps toward freedom: Remembering Debbie Friedman
Beshalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16
by Rabbi Amy B. Hertz
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Jan 14, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
The crossing of the Sea of Reeds, which we read about in this week’s Torah portion, Beshalach, marked a pivotal moment for the Israelites. It transformed an enslaved group of individuals into a fre...
‘Go’… and Happy Birthday
Bo, Exodus 10:1 –13:16
by Cantor Richard Berlin, Spiritual Leader
Parkway Jewish Center
Jan 06, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend
A parsha’s name usually comes from its first important word. Bo is the fourth word this week. This parsha starts, “The Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh. For I have hardened his heart … that you m...
The season of bringing signs
Vaera, Exodus 6:2-9:35
by Rabbi Michael Werbow
Congregation Beth Shalom
Dec 29, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
Moses is trying to tackle a big job. He not only has to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites go so they can serve God, he also has to convince the Israelites. The signs that God gives Moses: his ...
The biblical mama grizzly
Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1
by Rabbi Scott Aaron
Agency for Jewish Learning
Dec 23, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
This week’s Torah portion, Shemot, contains one of the most perplexing stories in the Torah. While Exodus 4:24-26 is only three lines, it has long raised pages of questions: “At a night encampment ...
The struggle for meaning: the masterpiece that is life
Parshat Veyechi Genesis: 47-28-50:26/I Kings 2:1-12
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Dec 16, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend
We have been taught that artists, when constructing a masterpiece, are not well served if they continually wield the brush. At times, artists must put the brush down, step back from the canvas and ...
Slavery for food a troubling passage in Torah portion
Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27
by Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner
Temple Shalom, Wheeling, W.Va.
Dec 10, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
This past week, when Israel’s Carmel Forest was ablaze, aid came from individuals who donated money and by governments who supplied needed equipment. Earlier this year, when a devastating earthquak...
Perchance to dream: A gateway to God
Miketz/Shabbat Chanuka Genesis 41:1-44:17
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler
Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Dec 02, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
Jacob had nothing but a rock to lay his head upon, yet he dreamed of God speaking words of comfort and inspiration to him. Pharaoh had the finest of Egypt’s finery to rest his head upon, yet he dre...