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torah commentary
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 | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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An easy choice?
Parashat Re'eh “And God said, I have set before you today a choice: a blessing or a curse.” Now who in their right mind would choose a curse over a blessing? Throughout our Torah there are many lis...
Aug 21, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Using our memories as a guide
Parshat Ekev Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 When you look back at the current conflict in Israel, what will you remember? Will it be a focus on the missiles coming into Israel or those going out?  On Iron ...
Aug 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
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...
Looking for Hashem in every detail
Parshat Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Jewish Association on Aging
Nov 24, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
  While Joseph was in prison, Pharaoh’s chief wine steward and his chief baker were also incarcerated. Rashi explains that the chief wine steward was punished because there was a fly in Pharaoh’s w...
Pianist bridged heaven and earth place of darkness
Vayetze Genesis 28:10-32:3
by Rabbi Sharyn H. Henry
Rodef Shalom Congregation
Nov 12, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend
“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it.” — ...